RSS-BJP stung by ‘MeToo Campaign’, senior Uttarakhand functionary removed

Sanjay Kumar, a senior RSS functionary, has been accused by a woman of sexual assault and sending her sexually explicit messages on her phone

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

SMA Kazmi

The Uttarakhand unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and it’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been stung by the “MeToo” campaign, following allegations of sexual exploitation of a women party worker against a top RSS functionary. According to party sources, Sanjay Kumar, a senior RSS functionary who was Organising Secretary of the Uttarakhand unit of the party, has been removed from his position after the allegation by the women worker went public yesterday. Interestingly, since the matter is about a senior RSS functionary, no one from the BJP is willing to say something on record about his removal.

The woman was working as a data entry operator at the BJP’s state office and charged Sanjay Kumar of sexually assaulting her and even sending her some sexually explicit messages on her phone. The woman, who reportedly belongs to a family connected with RSS, alleged that she met many senior party leaders during the past six months and told them about the assault but that no one was willing to listen to her as the matter involved a senior RSS leader. She also said that her mobile phone, which contained all the evidences against the RSS leader, was snatched away by another woman BJP leader and destroyed. She said that she went to Dehradun Mahanagar President Vinay Goyal who also did not help her. Vinay Goyal, however, told the media that he did not know the victim.

Anugrah Narayan Singh, Congress general secretary in-charge of the state, who is touring Uttarakhand, said that these allegations were serious and needed a probe by an independent agency

Interestingly, the audio recording of the conversation between Vinay Goyal and the victim has gone viral with a Hindi vernacular daily publishing the transcript of the conversation. In the transcript, Vinay Goyal is telling the victim that even “RSS leaders are humans having physical needs.” The girl has been telling him that she belonged to a dedicated RSS family whose members are willing to do anything for the party and the organisation but will not tolerate such people.

The red-faced RSS and BJP leadership reportedly decided to pack off Sanjay Kumar from Uttarakhand last night after the exposure but are tight-lipped about the incidents. Senior party leaders said that the announcement about Sanjay Kumar will be made by the RSS. There are reportedly efforts are on to brush the entire episode under the carpet. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told mediapersons that action will be initiated if any such complaint is made to the police.

It is not the first time that senior RSS leaders have come under the scanner for alleged sexual misdemeanour. Earlier, a woman in Kolkata had filed a complaint against another senior RSS functionary of Uttarakhand, one Shiv Parkash, who is joint general secretary of the BJP.

Uttarakhand Congress has reacted strongly to the allegations. Suryakant Dhasmana, vice-president of the Uttarakhand Congress, said that the BJP and the RSS which brag about “ Chal, Charitra and Chhera” from rooftops stand exposed. “The slogan of ‘Beti Baccaho, Beti Padhao’ and the moral high ground taken by RSS and BJP stand exposed before the general public, following accusations of sexual exploitation by senior RSS functionaries,” he said in a statement.

Anugrah Narayan Singh, Congress general secretary in-charge of the state, who is touring Uttarakhand, said that these allegations were serious and needed a probe by an independent agency.

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