Mohan Bhagwat says Lok Sabha poll campaign by both sides increased ‘social tensions’

Batting for peace in Manipur on priority basis, he says a number of good things had taken place in the last 10 years, but that did not mean challenges had ceased

Updated - June 11, 2024 08:53 am IST

Published - June 10, 2024 10:40 pm IST - Pune

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat during the concluding function of ‘Karyakarta Vikas Varg - Dwitiya’, in Nagpur on June 10, 2024.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat during the concluding function of ‘Karyakarta Vikas Varg - Dwitiya’, in Nagpur on June 10, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday called for peace in strife-torn Manipur and said campaigning for the Lok Sabha election had increased ”social tensions and suspicion” among people.

Speaking during an event at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, Mr. Bhagwat, addressing Sangh workers said that while elections are an essential process of democracy, there ought to a limit to one’s rhetoric during campaigning.

“There are two parties. There is competition. Since it is a contest, efforts will be made by both to push oneself forward. But there is a dignity to this process. Lies should not be used. People are being elected to go to Parliament and run our country. They do so by reaching a consensus. That has been our tradition. This [election] contest is not a war,” said the RSS chief.

“The manner of campaigning was one in which social tensions and suspicion among people would increase and two groups would be divided. Care was not taken to ensure that this did not happen. Without any reason, organisations like the RSS were dragged into this,” added Mr. Bhagwat.

Mr. Bhagwat said that Manipur has been waiting for peace for a year.

“The State had been peaceful for 10 years. It had appeared that gun culture had ended. However, who is thinking of dousing the flames that have erupted now? Peace has to be considered on priority basis,” Mr. Bhagwat said.

The ruling BJP lost the Lok Sabha election in Manipur, with both seats being won by the Congress. The Opposition Congress had accused Mr. Modi of not visiting Manipur while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had done so, commencing his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from there.

He said that while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had come to power and that a number of good things had taken place in the last 10 years, like an improvement in economic conditions and an enhancement of India’s prestige in the world, it did not mean that challenges had ceased.

“There is a dignity to contesting elections. That dignity was not maintained. It is necessary to do so because the challenges facing our country have not ended...The same government is back to power [NDA]. While it is right that a lot of positive things have happened in last 10 years, it doesn’t mean that we are free of challenges,” Mr. Bhagwat said.

He also rued the fact that falsehoods were propagated through technology. “Modern technology was used to propagate falsehood. How will a country run like that?” he said.

Mr. Bhagwat further said that the Opposition should not be considered an adversary. “They are Opposition, revealing one side. Their opinions should also come to light,” he said.

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