Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Mohanrao Bhagwat, the new RSS chief, indirectly told the Nagpur conclave of the organisation on Friday that RSS cadres must aim for the BJP’s victory in the coming parliamentary polls.

Although Mr. Bhagwat did not mention that the RSS must campaign for the party, the context in which it was said made this quite clear. Party sources confirmed that this time the organisation would canvass wholeheartedly for the BJP.

Mr. Bhagwat’s address referred to a few recent political events – the Amarnath agitation, the events in Kandhamal district in Orissa, the surfacing of Hindu terror suspects in the Malegaon blast case and the general worldwide phenomenon of terrorism, and the Mumbai terror attack.

He had harsh words to say about the Malegaon investigation: “On the pretext of involvement of some Hindu youths and a Sadhvi [Pragya Singh] … these hard-line fundamentalists and secessionist forces have tried to create an illusionary and self-contradictory lie called ‘Hindu terrorism’.”

He blamed the same forces for the reversal of the decision to give land to the Amarnath Board and for the “brutal repression unleashed against Hindus” in the Kandhamal region. He did not mention the attacks on Christians and on churches following the murder of Swami Laxmananand Saraswati although the Orissa state police had blamed naxals for the murder.

The change in Nagpur signals a generational change in the RSS as Mr. Bhagwat is 59 years old and Mr. Sudarshan is 78. The change was no surprise as enough signals had been given over the last couple of years that Mr. Bhagwat would be Mr. Sudarshan’s choice as successor. Mr. Sudarshan had himself, in a television interview some years ago, talked about the need for younger people to take over the RSS as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party and other wings of the RSS.