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RSS review of govt. a low-key affair

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Sangh affiliates meet in Udaipur

Last year, at roughly this time, key ministers in the Union government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made a beeline for Madhyanchal, a conference venue in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj locality, for a coordination meeting with senior office bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates. The exercise was perceived as one where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government presented a ‘report card’ of its performance to its ideological parent. There hasn’t been a repeat of that exercise this year. Or has it?

‘Smaller scale’

According to both RSS Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya and Rajya Sabha MP and BJP Vice President Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, “coordination meetings” are still very much on, albeit on a smaller scale. “Who said the meetings are not happening? I’m at one right now,” said Mr. Vaidya from Udaipur, where a coordination meeting of all organisational general secretaries of Sangh-affiliated bodies is on for the next two days.

Dr. Sahasrabuddhe dismissed the notion that last year’s exercise was a ‘report card’ submission. “It acquired a high profile because it happened over two days in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. People asked questions of ministers, who answered. Subsequently, we have broken this exercise down into multiple sections and institutionalised these sub-groups. Like the meeting between the education and culture ministers and Sangh organisations that deal with the sector, or the trade and commerce minister meeting with the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.”

FDI policy explained

In fact, during the monsoon session of Parliament, senior ministers like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met these organisations in a small group at the Gujarat Bhavan to explain the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy, especially looking at the Sangh’s misgivings on FDI in defence.

The Udaipur meeting is a delinking of the coordination between the RSS and the BJP from the RSS and the government. “The Udaipur meeting is about coordination between the party and the Sangh, and other mechanisms have been set up for coordination between the RSS and the government,” said a senior office bearer of the BJP.

The headlines that last year’s meeting generated are hardly seen this year but the coordination process is nonetheless happening away from the glare of the media.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:29:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/RSS-review-of-govt.-a-low-key-affair/article14628873.ece

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