Bhagwat arrives in MP to turn tide in favour of CAA
In a major initiative to counter hostility to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) outside the BJP-ruled states, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday began a three-day interaction with more than 100 pracharaks from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
This is Bhagwat's first such foray in a state averse to endorsing the new citizenship law.
During his Bhopal sojourn, Bhagwat is expected to 'educate' the youth on the benefits of CAA and National Register of Citizens (NCR). This is his first major drive in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since the CAA row began.
Bhopal had emerged as an important RSS nursery during the 15-year rule of the BJP before the Congress returned to power a year ago. Some other key states have also slipped out of the BJP fold since then.
The story in Chhattisgarh is no different. Many edifices of BJP's 15-year dominance there have been pulled down one by one. Despite comprehensive victory in both MP and Chhattisgarh during the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and RSS have struggled to regain the momentum for an effective surge here. The local body elections in Chhattisgarh have further jolted the BJP.
Bhagwat is scheduled to hold talks with RSS pracharaks of Madhya Prant (central zone) and review Sangh's progress on various fronts and draw up district-wise plans to reach out to the youth, said an RSS functionary.
He is also scheduled to meet leaders of affiliates like Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad -- the student wing of the Sangh Parivar -- at Saraswati Shishu Mandir's Sharda Vihar residential school. This is the first such interactive session in five years being held in Madhya Prant and the Sangh would want to revive its activity which peaked during the BJP rule of 15 years, RSS sources said.
RSS is working to quell the dissent against CAA among the youth who have been disillusioned by the BJP government's failure to address issues like unemployment and the economic slackness afflicting the middle class.
The Sangh and the BJP leadership realises that CAA is an important step in promoting its Hindu Rashtra agenda. All affiliates are required to ramp up support for the new law. Madhya Pradesh still has the support base and the infrastructure to help the RSS chief plan a recovery.
The CAA cleared by the Parliament on December 11 authorises Hindus, Christians and other religious minorities from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to acquire Indian citizenship. The BJP-led NDA government has, however, kept Muslims out of the list saying they could not have been persecuted in the Islamic nations of the sub-continent.
However, critics of the new law contend that it is against the Constitution, which guarantees equal protection to all in India, which is home to around 200 million Muslims.
The Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments have not only opposed the CAA and NRC, they have also encouraged all meetings held in various parts of the two states against the laws.IANS