The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Thursday remained firm and justified its action against the ousted Goa RSS unit chief Subhash Velingkar. This is despite Velingkar blaming Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Manohar Parrikar for his downfall.
However, there is a palpable concern in corridors of the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, after a sizeable number of swayamsevaks rallied behind Velingkar with many of them even quitting the organisation to express solidarity with him. This may potentially mar BJP’s chances in the ensuing elections.
According to sources from the RSS, the western zone chief Ravindra Joshi, pracharak pramukh, Manmohan Vaidya and Konkan division sanghachalak Satish Modh are likely to visit Goa soon to meet the swayamsevaks in and defuse the situation.
Velingkar, who headed the Goa RSS unit, was relieved of his responsibilities by the RSS headquarters, for stridently taking on the BJP over the medium of instruction issue. His announcement that his outfit Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch would contest the ensuing state elections against BJP, also reduced his favour with the RSS.
This worried the BJP state unit as well as party chief Amit Shah. The party chief had reportedly raised the issue with RSS top brass at a meeting in Bhopal last week and sought an intervention into the matter. The meeting was attended by RSS general secretary Bhaiyya Joshi and joint general Krishna Gopal, who is also the coordinator between the BJP and Sangh.
A senior swayamsevak in Nagpur claimed that Velingkar was initially asked to resign when he tried to challenge the BJP during elections. “When he refused to resign he was removed from the post,” said the senior swayamsevak, requesting anonymity.
Former spokesman and RSS ideologue MG Vaidya, however, found nothing unusual about the decision to remove Velingkar. “If any RSS office-bearer wishes to join politics, he must resign from the post. I was joint secretary of Nagpur RSS in 1961 and when I was appointed as organising secretary of the then Jansangh, Nagpur unit, I resigned from the post. It is mandatory. But such a person can function as an ordinary swayamsevak,” he said.