Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has sought President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s intervention to ensure that the Madhya Pradesh government reverses the order removing the ban on government officials taking part in shakhas and other activity of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Sonia’s letter to the President dubbing the order “illegal, unconstitutional and not in the national interest” was handed over to Kalam by a high-level AICC and state Congress delegation on Thursday.
The delegation, which conveyed the party’s “concern’’ about the implications of the move to the President, included Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, treasurer Motilal Vora, AICC general secretaries like former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh, state unit chief Subhash Yadav and Congress Legislature Party leader Jamuna Devi.
While seeking Kalam’s intervention, Sonia cited a precedent in her September 27 letter to the President. She recalled that the Gujarat government had issued a similar order in January 2000.
At that time, too, she had written to then President K.R. Narayanan and a delegation of Congress leaders went to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Narayanan took up the matter with the Vajpayee government and subsequently, the Gujarat government was persuaded to withdraw the order.
“We urged the President that he must act,” Satyavrat Chaturvedi, AICC spokesman and a member of the delegation, later told newsperson, adding, “How can an order, considered wrong in Gujarat, be right in Madhya Pradesh?” He said President Kalam had assured the delegation that he would look into the matter and take “appropriate action”.