The Congress party has vowed to ban shakhas of BJP’s ideological parent, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from government buildings in Madhya Pradesh, if voted to power. The grand old party has also vowed to ban government officials from participating in the activities organised by the RSS, if it comes to power.
In its 112-page long election manifesto (titled as Vachan Patra) released on Saturday, November 10, Congress promised to revoke the BJP government’s order which currently allows government employees to attend and participate in RSS shakhas.
“RSS shakhas will be banned on government premises and the order allowing government officers and employees to participate in such shakhas will be rescinded,” reads the clause 47.62, page 80 of the manifesto.
Explaining the rationale, chief of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), Kamal Nath tweeted saying his party wants government employees to work for the people, not for the RSS.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister, P Chidambaram said, “RSS is a political organisation. If Congress party in MP, in their manifesto, has said it will put an end to this practice, I see nothing wrong with that. Government servants, as long as they are working in the government, shouldn’t openly associate with a political party.”
Congress’ vow to ban RSS shakhas created a furore in Madhya Pradesh. Retorting to the Congress, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Looks like the Congress has only one motto these days, ‘Mandir nahi banne denge, Shakha nahi chalne denge.’ (Won’t allow temples to be built, won’t allow shakha activities.)”
Earlier, during the Congress regime from 1993-2003, although RSS shakhas were held, government employees were not allowed to participate in these activities.