Now there will be interference, will Modi-Shah's BJP be able to tolerate the 'arbitrariness' of RSS?

Ananya Shroff
8 Min Read


New Delhi: Is there tension in the relationship between RSS and BJP? After the Lok Sabha election results, the first article published in RSS-affiliated magazine Organiser was by Ratan Sharda. It has clear messages for BJP. The hints of these messages were still being discussed when the statements of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat cleared the situation to a great extent. Then Indresh Kumar, the head of RSS's Muslim wing Rashtriya Muslim Manch, took this discussion to the next level. He made such a sharp sarcasm that he had to give clarification the very next day. Whether it is RSS-affiliated thinker Ratan Sharda or RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat or Rashtriya Muslim Manch's guide Indresh Kumar, everyone's comments have a common sentiment – arrogance. Everyone has tried to tell and express in some way or the other that the arrogance of the BJP leadership is the most responsible for the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. The rest of the RSS chief gave many kinds of suggestions. He also said that in politics there are not opponents (enemies) but competitors. So now the next question arises that can RSS take any big decision regarding the BJP leadership?

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Relations between the RSS and the BJP have certainly deteriorated, but…

In an article published in the English newspaper The Indian Express, senior journalist Neerja Chaudhary is looking for answers to these questions. In her article, she has confirmed the tension between RSS and BJP and also explained its meaning. She says that BJP President JP Nadda had said something hurtful to RSS in an interview given to Indian Express during the elections. Nadda had said that BJP is standing on its own feet and it does not need RSS. RSS also did not miss the opportunity to respond to this. It said that BJP should never make the mistake of considering RSS as its field force. So there is no doubt that the results of the Lok Sabha elections have definitely brought some sourness in the relationship between RSS and BJP. But what should both of them do in the future?

This is Rahul's Congress, not Indira's

Neerja Chaudhary says that even though the RSS is angry with the attitude of the BJP leadership, it knows very well that this leadership has fulfilled its years-old agenda. It also knows that this is not the Congress of Indira's era, for which BJP can be taught a lesson in the short term by playing a gamble. It is a different matter that RSS chief Bhagwat has sent a message to the Congress by calling the opposition a competitor, but he also knows in which direction Rahul Gandhi's Congress has gone. The RSS considered Indira Gandhi a Hindu leader. For this reason, the RSS helped in ensuring Indira Gandhi's victory in the 1980 elections. After Indira's assassination in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi also continued to get the support of the RSS. But the Congress of 2024 is completely different from the 1970-80s. Rahul Gandhi has adopted extreme leftist ideology and under his indirect leadership, the Congress can never even think about Hindu interests.

What is RSS's complaint with BJP?

Anyway, RSS is not so angry with the current BJP leadership that it should consider looking for an alternative. If senior journalist Neerja Chaudhary is to be believed, it only wants that the BJP leadership should move away from the policy of 'Ekla Chalo Re' and take everyone (opposition also) along on big issues. RSS wants that the share of strong leaders should increase in BJP, which has proved incapable of forming the government alone, which has been gradually decreasing in the last 10 years. RSS cannot forget that whether it is the removal of Article 370 applicable to Jammu and Kashmir or solving the centuries-old dispute by building a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, only the BJP led by Modi-Shah has fulfilled the basic agendas of the Sangh. Before the elections, the Modi government had also made its stand clear on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) that serious steps will be taken towards implementing it in the next government.

Is this what RSS wants from BJP?

Despite all this, the biggest complaint of RSS against BJP is that the party's organization has become a yes-man of the government. Therefore, at the top of the RSS's reform agenda is that the BJP organization should be separated from the Modi government. The organization should take its own decisions, not at the behest of the government. Yes, coordination of the organization with the government is absolutely necessary and this will definitely be taken care of. Anyway, JP Nadda's tenure will end this month. On the other hand, RSS wants to spread Yogi Adityanath's aura outside Uttar Pradesh as well. The closed-door meetings of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat with UP CM Yogi Adityanath were probably in this direction. On the other hand, the meetings held by RSS leaders like Dattatreya Hosabale, Arun Kumar, Suresh Soni, BL Santosh with BJP leaders like JP Nadda, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh also have their own importance.

Will Modi accept RSS's interference?

What might the BJP and Modi be thinking about these intentions of the RSS? The results of the Lok Sabha elections have given a severe blow to the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi will have to prove in the next elections that his power to perform miracles has not ended. The assembly elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana this year and the assembly elections in Delhi and Bihar next year will give PM Modi a great opportunity to prove his strength. For this, Modi will need the support of the RSS. In the Lok Sabha elections, the RSS withdrew its support in many states and many areas and the BJP was reduced to 240 seats. Modi would not want to do anything in the upcoming assembly elections that would make the RSS adopt a wait-and-see policy again.

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