To deflect criticism that RSS chief >Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation may have cost the BJP crucial votes, a senior RSS office-bearer claims the organisation has seen a 300 per cent increase in enrolment between October 1 and 15.
Speaking to The Hindu ahead of Vijaya Dashmi, which marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the RSS this year, he said the figures for online enrolment, around 270 per month between January and July 2015, had risen three-fold. This went up in the run-up to the Bihar Assembly polls to 500 per month between July and September. But the first 15 days of October have astounded the organisation.
“Figures for October 1-15 alone showed up to 590 enrolments, and if this trend is kept up, we will see the number go up to 1,000 enrolments for this month alone,” he said.
Even the national average of online enrolments, he said, reflects this spike in interest after Mr. Bhagwat’s interview.
“From January to June 2015, enrolments have been at the rate of 5,026 per month, this number goes up a bit between July and September to 6,648 per month. Bhagwatji’s interview came out on September 28, and the figures, nationally, for just the first 15 days of October are 4,700.”
RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said the increase in enrolment in Bihar could be attributed to “a desire among young people to get over the caste and communal politics in Bihar.”
While not referring to Mr. Bhagwat’s interview, he said: “People have shown that there is a general disenchantment with caste and community-based politics.”
Asked whether these enrolments were from a particular section of society, perhaps the upper castes that may want a review of the reservation policy, Mr. Vaidya said such a breakdown of data had not been done.
While November 8 is still three phases of polling away, the RSS is making sure that its share of victory or defeat is not taken in any other way than the one it intends.