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RSS leaders to meet in August, take stock of political situation

At the end of August the top leadership of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) led by its chief Mohan Bhagwat will gather for a three-day meeting in Andhra Pradesh

india Updated: Aug 01, 2018 07:41 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RSS,Mohan Bhagwat,Andhra Pradesh
Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat arrives at Hari Har Ashram to interact with top spiritual gurus and saints in Haridwar,Uttarakhand:(HT File Photo)

At the end of August the top leadership of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) led by its chief Mohan Bhagwat will gather for a three-day meeting in Andhra Pradesh where they will take stock of political and social issues likely to dominate the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and assembly polls in four states.

The meeting, according to these functionaries, will also be attended by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, who is also expected to give an account of the political situation in the country and the progress made by the party on issues that were identified as areas of concern at a similar meeting a year ago. Senior leaders of some of the RSS affiliates will also be present.

According to two functionaries aware of the development, among the issues that will come up for discussion are the prevalence and spread of Maoism, regional political issues, increasing Dalit discontent; the BJP’s recent decision to pull out of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, and the emerging rainbow coalition of Opposition parties. In 2017, such a meeting was held in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan, where the RSS-BJP brass had discussed issues such as violence against the cadre in Kerala and West Bengal, governance issues in Haryana and UP where so-called cow vigilantes were accused of perpetuating violent attacks, and India’s China policy following the Doklam standoff.

“Some issues were raised and the party was asked to formulate steps to address these concerns. They were also asked to control negative perception building up against the Sangh as well as the Modi government. At the meeting, the leadership will take stock of what has been accomplished in the past year and will also chart the future course of action,” said one functionary on condition of anonymity. An issue raised at the last meeting was the continued attacks against security personnel in Kashmir and the efforts underway by the government to curb terror funding and support.

“Since the BJP was in a coalition government, concerns were raised on the situation, especially the barbaric attacks against security personnel, of both the armed forces and the state police. Now the situation is different, the state is under governor’s rule; there is likely to be a presentation on the issues related to the State,” said another functionary.

The upcoming meeting in Andhra Pradesh was preceded by coordination meetings between the RSS and BJP top bosses in May in the national capital, where the RSS-BJP leadership received feedback from the affiliates and also heard their concerns over key policy issues.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 07:41 IST