RSS should quit shadow-boxing and instead merge with BJP, says Ashok Gehlot

Former rajasthn chief minister said the Sangh was working as an ‘extra-constitutional authority’ and making political decisions for the ruling BJP in state and at Centre

jaipur Updated: Mar 24, 2018 22:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot addresses media in Kota.(HT Photo)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is working as an “extra-constitutional authority” and making political decisions for the ruling BJP, former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said Saturday.

The RSS — ideological parent of the BJP — was working from behind the curtains and its nominees are present in every ministry and department both at the Centre and in states ruled by the BJP, Gehlot said talking to reporters in Kota.

“The RSS claims to be a cultural organisation but has become an extra-constitutional authority that decides who would be the prime minister and president (of the country). It decides who would be the CM of states, who should be sent to cabinet, and who should go to corporations,” Gelot said, without offering evidence to support his allegations.

Gehlot said the Sangh should come out openly into politics, instead of doing shadow-boxing for the BJP.

“During the time of late PM Indira Gandhi, these people used to allege the same about Sanjay Gandhi. The whole country knows RSS is working like an extra-constitutional authority, which is very worrying,” he said.

This was not the first time a Congress leader has accused the RSS-BJP of compromising constitutional institutions. The Congress leadership has previously attacked them for having a “fascist” ideology and charged the RSS with “interference” in the running of the central government.

In the political resolution adopted at the 84th Congress Plenary session in New Delhi on March 17, the party alleged that the country’s core constitutional values were under attack, with institutions under stress and their independence compromised.

The AICC general-secretary in-charge of Gujarat said Congress leaders are capable of countering the RSS-BJP combine - ideologically and politically. He asked the BJP to fight the Congress on policies and principles.

Claiming that people associated with 25 RSS institutions are working in government departments, Gehlot said once the RSS comes out of its closet, the Congress is fully competent to oppose it with its ideology and defeat the “fascist” forces.

“It would be better if the RSS stop misguiding people in the name of a Hindutva-based cultural institution and instead comes out openly in politics, after merging itself with the BJP,” he said. “The politics behind the veil is not in the favour of nation.”

Refuting the allegations, RSS’s Jaipur prant sanghchalak Ramesh Agarwal said the RSS was a cultural organisation and its swayamsevaks were also citizens of the country and performing their duty as citizens. “They are not involved in any illegal activities.”

Gehlot, meanwhile, also targeted the BJP government in Rajasthan claiming that the people of the state have decided to throw it out of power.

He alleged that bajri (river sand) mafias were prospering and minting money at the behest of the state government. He demanded a probe into the issue. “Bajri issue will drown the BJP government...,” he said.

On minister Kalicharan Sarraf’s son’s alleged involvement in a corruption case, Gehlot attacked chief minister Vasundhara Raje for allowing her ministers to indulge in graft.

“Why did not Raje drop such ministers from the cabinet,” he asked.

He said Raje tried to protect bureaucrat Ashok Singhvi in the mines scam that deserves a probe by the CBI.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 22:09 IST