Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohanrao Bhagwat said here on Tuesday it was for the Bharatiya Janata Party to decide on the kind of therapy or medicine the party required after the setback in the recent Assembly elections.

The RSS was not in the habit of giving unsolicited advice to anyone, and it was for the BJP to treat itself. “It is up to the BJP to decide on surgery, medicine or chemotherapy,” he said.

Addressing journalists at the Bharti Bhavan, the RSS State headquarters, at the end of a five-day long stay here, Mr. Bhagwat mostly skirted issues related to the BJP. He spoke at length on the Maoist menace, the “expansionist and imperialist” tendencies of China, and the “state-sponsored infiltration” from Bangladesh. “I am not an expert in politics and also not much inclined to talk about the BJP,” he said.

“The BJP is both an autonomous and independent organisation. The RSS is going ahead with its proclaimed agenda of Hindustan as a Hindu rashtra,” Mr. Bhagwat said, trying to avoid questions on any possible role for his organisation in improving the situation in the BJP. “It is for the party to take the responsibility and go ahead [with the needed changes],” he said.

“It is only when they ask for swayamsevaks [workers] we provide. For the time being they have asked neither for advice nor for swayamsevaks,” he said.

“In the recent past the BJP leadership sought advice and the RSS gave it. The results are also showing,” he noted.

About the recent reverses suffered by the BJP and its electoral ally the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Mr. Bhagwat said the parties should take the people’s verdict with all humility.

On the political significance of his meeting the former Vice-President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Mr. Bhagwat said it was a “courtesy call.” “I went to enquire about his health. We know each other since 1952. If I had not gone there you [the media] would have made news about it,” he said.

Ruling out any major changes in the ganvesh or uniform prescribed for the swayamsevaks, Mr. Bhagwat asserted that the ‘knickers’ would remain. There could be some consideration, however, on replacing the leather belt, he noted.

Responding to another question, Mr. Bhagwat said there would not be any review on the policy of providing senior RSS functionaries on deputation to the BJP for organisational work.

‘People not with naxals’

On the Maoist issue, Mr. Bhagwat advised more willpower on the part of the authorities, though he felt shooting them was no solution. There was a need to better equip the security forces, strengthen the intelligence network, educate people on the issue, and carry out development without corruption, he said, adding that the common man was not with the militants. “People do not support naxals, but at places they have no option,” Mr. Bhagwat said.

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