Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) recently ended its Akhil Bharatiye Pratinidhi meet with a resolve to go beyond the caste divisions in the Hindu society, as these divisions have become very visible in the election of office-bearers to the top posts in the organizations, which was earlier a Brahmanical clique.
The sole OBC face is V Bhagaiah, from Medak, Telangana, who recently got elected as joint secretary of Sah Sarkaryavah, a third tier leadership. Bhagiah was earlier the head of Bhadhuik (intellectual wing of RSS) belongs to the Vadla community. Likewise, Sham Kumar, the regional head of the mid south region of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana is also an OBC. Kumar who is brother of late Union Minister A Narender, is a pointer to the Sangh’s plan to expand in the south.
From its start Sangh’s top leadership has been considered a Brahmanical clique. It was in 1994 that Rajendra or Rajju Bhaiyya became the non-Brahmin Sarsanghchalak of the RSS.
“The symbolic value of these appointments is immense especially in view of the resolution taken to work towards ‘one well, one temple and one crematorium’,” said a senior office bearer of the Sangh.
Its backing for PM Narendra Modi as the BJP’s candidate in the last General Elections was seen as the first step towards a larger social democratisation of the Sangh Parivar. “Our real challenge, more than the integration of the OBCs is to integrate SC/STs,” said the office bearer. The Sangh’s expansion plans in the south (apart from Karnataka) have suffered largely because of the perception that it is a Brahmanical organisation, in a region where, historically, a strong anti-Brahmin movement has existed.
India’s president on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi as the prime minister soon after newly elected lawmakers from the ruling alliance, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, elected him as their leader following a thunderous victory in national elections.
President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet that he also asked Modi to forward the names of those to be appointed as ministers in his government and the date for the swearing-in for his second five-year term as prime minister. Modi and some leaders of his alliance met the president on Saturday.
Media reports said Modi was likely to be sworn in by Kovind on Thursday.
BJP president Amit Shah announced Modi’s name as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance in a meeting of the lawmakers in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi.
The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, after the official vote count from the six-week-long election was completed on Friday. That is well beyond the simple majority a party in India needs to form a government.
The BJP’s top rival, the Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, won 52 seats, and the All India Trinamool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won 22.
Critics say Modi and his party have applied divisive policies and used a Hindu-first strategy. But Modi said after Saturday’s vote that “this election has become a movement of social unity.” “It is generally said that the election divides, creates distances, makes walls. But the 2019 elections have worked to break the walls,” he said in his address.
On Friday, Modi met with his outgoing Cabinet ministers and later presented his resignation to the country’s president. The president asked the officials to continue to serve until the new government assumes office.
Gandhi, whose great-grandfather, grandmother and father were all prime ministers, personally conceded his seat, long a Congress party bastion, to his BJP rival, India’s textiles minister, marking the end of an era for modern India’s most powerful political dynasty.
Counting of the estimated 600 million ballots cast over six weeks of staggered polling — the world’s largest democratic exercise — began early Thursday.
The victory was largely seen as a referendum on Modi’s Hindu-first politics that some observers say have bred intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities, as well as his muscular stance on neighboring Pakistan, with whom India nearly went to war earlier this year after suicide attacks killed more than 40 Indian security officials in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Modi effectively used the incident as a major campaign tool after responding to the attack with an airstrike in Pakistan that triggered nationalist sentiments, with the BJP saying Modi is the right person to ensure India’s national security. (VOA)