Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wendesday urged for "perfect honesty" in public life and warned against "rise" in corruption.
His speech would have been considered as routine but for the fact that BJP president Nitin Gadkari was listening to him from the audience. In the past few weeks, activist-politician Arvind Kejriwal has accused Gadkari of wrongdoing in land deals in Maharashtra. A series of media reports have alleged that companies associated with Gadkari got undue favours when he was Maharashtra's PWD minister.
"Right from our homes up to the social sphere, are we in a position to project ourselves as the perfect examples of purity, lawfulness, discipline, honesty in dealings and sensitivity?" said Bhagwat at the RSS's annual Vijaya Dashmi gathering of swayamsevaks (organisation workers) in Nagpur.
"The consequences of incomplete thought had made the lack of national and individual character in our country more pronounced and painful. The mindboggling revelations about corruption have not come to an end yet." Bhagwat made no direct statement on Gadkari.
"Knowing well that corruption is on the rise because of lack of character, the Sangh continues to concentrate in its work of character building. People should be made aware of the need to change the system, taking care to ensure that they do not fall prey to disappointment or develop any aversion for the system. A situation similar to the one developed in the Middle East countries where fundamentalists and foreign forces have created almost an anarchic situation to serve their interest, should not be repeated here," he said.
Hindustan Times asked him the allegations against Gadkari but Bhagwat refused to comment.
Senior RSS leader and spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said the allegations against Gadkari seem like a media trial. "Let the BJP and Gadkari himself respond (to the allegations)," he said.
Vaidya said the RSS has not asked Gadkari for an explanation. "We have not issued any ultimatum and have not sought any explanation. The RSS is not in the picture as it is purely an internal matter of the BJP," he said.