Panaji: Chief of the Goa unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Subhash Velingkar, who was removed from his post on Wednesday for going against the ruling BJP government, expressed surprise over his removal, reported The Indian Express.
The report said that he has been associated with RSS for 54 years and had guided many BJP leaders like Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Union Minister Sripad Naik. Talking about Parrikar, he told The Indian Express, "Parrikar used to accompany me during my political visits and he was a keen observer."
The report further added that Velingkar accused Parrikar of "cheating" him and his organisation and said that he has failed to deliver on the poll promises.
Velingkar, the convener of Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), which is fighting for withdrawal of grants to English medium schools and for the cause of promoting regional languages as Medium of Instruction (MOI) in the coastal state, has been at loggerheads with the saffron party as well as the Goa chief minister.
After his removal, the members of his outfit showed black flags to party president Amit Shah recently, for trying to engage into "political activity", which is contrary to Sangh tradition.
According to The Times of India, the decision to remove him from his post came after he announced forming a new party ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls. The RSS, however, said that they will continue to support BBSM "to strengthen the system for primary education in mother tongue".
"He (Velingkar) has been relieved from his responsibilities. He wanted to get into some political activity. Being a Sangh leader, he cannot do that," RSS' All India Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya told PTI.
Vaidya said the decision on new organisational head for the coastal state, where elections are due next year, is yet to be taken.
RSS' Konkan prant Sanghachalak Satish Modh said, "As part of the agitation, BBSM had announced formation of a political party. RSS, since its inception, has never been involved in politics and hence, RSS would have no role in the political endeavour of BBSM. With this background, it has been announced at a recent meeting of senior RSS office-bearers in Goa that convener of BBSM, Subhash Velingkar has been relieved from his responsibility as Goa Vibhag Sangh chalak."
Modh, however, said that RSS will continue to support BBSM in its cause. As part of their agitation, BBSM had announced formation of a political outfit to contest the polls due next year. Velingkar courted controversy earlier this week by reportedly saying that BJP may not win the election in Goa since it has "betrayed" people's trust by going back on its promise of making regional languages as a medium of instruction in schools.
Shah had reportedly raised the issue with RSS top brass at a meeting last week in Bhopal which was attended by the RSS second-in-command Bhaiyaji Joshi and joint general secretary Krishna Gopal.
The BJP, however, distanced itself from the controversy, with Parsekar terming it as Sangh's "internal matter".
Senior BJP leader Rajendra Arlekar, who had claimed to be a Sangh volunteer in past, told PTI, "Every organisation decides whom they want on what post. It is totally their (RSS') internal matter."
BBSM leader Pundalik Naik said the development was anticipated as one of the possibilities by the outfit.
"It's not that we had not anticipated this kind of situation. While deciding to agitate on the medium of instruction issue, we had considered all possibilities," Naik said.
With inputs from PTI