"Government is not able to do anything, there is a vast deficit in governance"

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Sunday lashed out at the Congress-led UPA government, holding it responsible for scams and corruption, rising prices and called upon people to vote in good numbers to bring about a change through the next general election.

At a press conference at the conclusion of the RSS’ three-day national executive here, its general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi charged the UPA government with policy paralysis on key fronts such as defence, internal security and economy. “This government is not able to do anything, there is a vast deficit in governance and investment climate has been vitiated,” he said.

Though Mr. Joshi evaded direct answers to questions as to how the RSS would help the Bharatiya Janata Party, he said people as well as industrialists were “very unhappy” with the government and claimed there was a wave in the country that favoured a change of government at the Centre. “People’s pressure will throw up an alternative and it will be positive.”

The senior RSS functionary appealed to eligible voters to enrol themselves when the electoral list comes up for revision in January next. He said the organisation maintained contacts at various levels in nearly 15,000 villages across the country and the RSS volunteers were asked to identify their sympathisers who would turn up in large numbers to cast their votes.

He said the RSS was holding ‘shakhas’ at 6,000 places across the country either daily or weekly, enabling the organisation to maintain its contacts on a regular basis. “Voters also have a responsibility and it is unfortunate that the voting percentage remains dismal. People should realise the importance of their vote and ensure hundred per cent polling in the general election,’’ he said.

Fight against corruption

Indicating that the RSS would oil and micro-manage electoral apparatus at its disposal during the election, Mr. Joshi said that as the first step it would launch mass-mobilisation for enrolling people in voters’ list. Stressing the apolitical nature of the RSS, he said that after naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, it was for the BJP to raise issues relevant in the electoral field and drum up support for the party.

Emphasising need to field candidates with clean record in elections, he said the RSS was against corruption at any level. “As a responsible, national-level organisation, we are against any kind of corruption in public life by any political party or individual.”

He said the national executive meeting, held in Kerala for the first time and attended by nearly 400 functionaries from across the country, reviewed organisational matters, discussed future plans and debated crucial issues affecting the nation.

Mr. Joshi criticised the government for retrieving the Communal Violence Bill, voicing its opposition to the “anti-harmony” draft legislation, which was being brought in the coming winter session of Parliament with an eye on next year’s elections.

Clarification

Two sentences in the report, “RSS asks people to oust ‘corrupt’ UPA govt. in the polls” (Oct. 28, 2013), read: “…He [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi ] said the organisation maintained contacts at various levels in nearly 15,000 villages across the country …” and “…the RSS was holding ‘shakhas’ at 6,000 places across the country …”

A clarification from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - quoting Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi – said: “The RSS has expanded its organisational growth since October 2012. We could start shakha activities in 2,500 new places. Now, 6,000 places are having either weekly or monthly shakhas. More than 50,000 villages are having RSS presence in the form of daily, weekly or occasional shakhas. Total number of contact places is 75,000.”

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