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Amit Shah-RSS brass meetings to firm up plan for 2019 elections

The BJP relies on cadre of the RSS for campaigning; ahead of all polls, coordination meetings are held between the party top brass and senior RSS functionaries.

india Updated: May 26, 2018 17:48 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RSS,BJP,2019 elections
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah addresses a press conference as party leaders Anant Kumar (left) and Piyush Goel (right) look on, at party headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, in New Delhi on May 21. (Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah will attend a series of meetings with top functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its frontal organisations commencing over the next few days, seeking to exchange ideas and iron out differences ahead of a series of state assembly polls leading up to the 2019 general election.

The BJP relies on cadre of the RSS, its ideological mentor, for campaigning; ahead of all polls, coordination meetings are held between the party top brass and senior RSS functionaries.

“Information from the Sangh cadre such as the mood on the ground or expectations of the people from the government is conveyed to the party functionaries at these meetings. They also allow both sides (RSS and the government) to clear the air over issues that they disagree over,” a senior RSS functionary said on condition of anonymity.

The RSS has over 40 affiliated organisations including the BJP that focus on various sectors; they also depute senior functionaries to interact with professionals across sectors. Over the past few years, these meetings have been used by Sangh affiliates to flag concerns about government policies.

For instance, organisations working on education have underlined government delays in announcing a new education policy, which the government has been working on for the past four years.

The senior functionary cited above said the meetings with Shah will include only the top brass of the Sangh and its affiliates and a few representatives from across the country. Such meetings have been organised in the past as well. This time, they have acquired additional significance because elections are around the corner.

“There are several groups that work in the same sector, these are clubbed together to form a samooh (collective). For instance organisations that work with labour and consumer related issues such as Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Laghu Udyog Bharati, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Sahakar Bharati and the Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat have been clubbed as the Arthik Samooh (economic collective). Feedback will be sought from this Samooh,” another functionary explained.

Shah will interact with representatives from the Arthik Samooh, Sewa Samooh (social work related), Shiksha Samooh (education), Suraksha Samooh (security), Samajik Samooh and Vichar Samooh (ideological issues).

“Senior RSS leaders such as joint general secretaries Krishna Gopal and Dattatreya Hosable are likely to attend these meetings,” the second functionary said.

The BJP spokesperson was not available for comment.

First Published: May 26, 2018 07:36 IST