A two-member panel of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will visit the State beginning Thursday to inquire the ongoing rift between its State leadership and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit.

Top sources told The Hindu that RSS general secretary Bhaiyaji Joshi and joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale had been deputed by Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat to find out the complaints against the former RSS and current BJP leaders. They will hold sittings in Thiruvanthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode in the coming days.

The RSS Central leadership had received numerous complaints against S. Sethumadhavan, former RSS State Prantha Pracharak, and A. Gopalakrishnan, a functionary of the newly-floated outfit Seema Jagran Manch, of escalating the factional wars in the BJP. A major accusation was that these RSS leaders had colluded with a group-led by BJP State president V. Muraleedharan for torpedoing the decisions of the RSS State unit.

RSS State Prantha Karyavahak P. Gopalankutty and Prantha Pracharak P.R. Sasidharan at the recently held national delegates’ meeting in Bangalore had raised allegations against Mr. Muraleedharan and BJP organisational secretary K.R. Umakanth of arbitrarily taking decisions without consulting the RSS.

BJP chief's role

They had also demanded that Mr. Muraleedharan should be replaced and shifted to the Centre soon after the Lok Sabha polls, the sources said.

The chasm between the BJP-RSS had widened long time ago, thus, upsetting the prospects of the party in the State.

The BJP national leadership wanted to effect some changes but it kept the proposal in abeyance after the faction-led by national secretary P.K. Krishnadas wanted to maintain status quo till the Lok Sabha polls. Consequently, the power struggle in the party also became irrepressible. At the same time, the BJP national leadership opted to replace Delhi unit president Vijay Goel and appoint Harsh Vardhan in February. This was after the party came under severe criticism for not putting up a united front leading up to the Delhi Assembly polls.

The RSS conclave in Bangalore also witnessed the removal of K.C. Kannan from the post of national joint secretary (Saha Saarakaryavah) in the wake of allegations against him. He was the only fulltime leader from the State who had reached the RSS top post. It is learnt he is getting married next month.

There is an unwritten law that RSS “full-timers or pracharaks” should remain celibate. However, the RSS leadership is tight-lipped whether Mr. Kannan’s removal is linked to his impending marriage or factional wars in the State. It is learnt that the Central leadership will collect evidence from complainants regarding the bad conduct of some pracharaks in the organisation as well as the BJP office-bearers.

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