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RSS, BJP bosses to meet for annual review this week, may discuss Haryana, UP issues

Sources expect problems facing ML Khattar, accused of allowing violence by Dera Sacha Sauda followers, and Yogi Adityanath, who has been criticised over infant deaths in Gorakhpur, could be discussed

india Updated: Aug 30, 2017 10:32 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RSS,BJP,ML Khattar
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (left) is expected to hold discussions with BJP president Amit Shah in Mathura this weekend. (PTI FILE)

Leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will meet top members of their ideological parent the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) this weekend in Mathura, where a number of recent controversies are expected to come up for discussion.

Sources in the RSS said the meeting is an annual exercise in which the organisation reviews its affiliates’ activities over the past year.

The discussions are likely to touch upon political concerns such as the violence in Haryana and the infant deaths in Uttar Pradesh that have drawn criticism for the chief ministers, who are members of the BJP.

Last week, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda cult ran riot and burned down public and private property at many locations in Haryana, triggering allegations that CM ML Khattar went soft on them to protect a crucial vote bank.

Khattar’s UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath’s administration similarly faced allegations of negligence after more than 60 children died in a government hospital that ran out of its oxygen supply because suppliers were not paid on time.

The meetings in Mathura, which will include discussions between the chiefs of both organisations — RSS’s Mohan Bhagwat and the BJP’s Amit Shah — will discuss the PR fallout from the two controversies.

The Sangh, for its part, has left it to the party to take a decision on whether Khattar, a former RSS pracharak, will continue as CM.

In UP, the RSS has underlined the need for better coordination between the party and Sangh, cautioning that in the absence of doing so, the government could end up failing to deliver on its promises of good governance.

RSS sources tried to downplay the issues and said it is a coordination meeting of over 40 outfits affiliated to the Sangh. “Each offshoot will present it report, so will the BJP,” a functionary said.

The BJP and the Sangh are aspiring to increase their footprint across the country, especially in northeast and southern states.

Violence against the Sangh cadre in Kerala, the row triggered by officials attempting to stop Bhagwat from unfurling the National Flag; and the BJP-TMC faceoff in West Bengal are expected to be prominent on the agenda, as will the issue of BJP’s uneasy relations with its alliance partner PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.

The two partners have been bickering over the issue of repeal of Article 35 A from the state, even as the BJP government has refrained from commenting on the issue, letting the court take a call.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 09:32 IST