RSS' highest decision-making body to begin three-day meet from tomorrow, election of new sarkaryavah may be on cards

A three-day meeting of the RSS's highest decision-making body - the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) - will begin from 9 March in Nagpur. The meeting assumes significance as major organisational changes in the Sangh and its affiliates are likely to be decided.

The meeting, which is held every three years, will be the last annual meeting before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the meeting, the agenda of action for the next three years will be laid down. Around 1,500 delegates of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from across the country are expected to attend the meeting, in which a host of issues will be discussed and deliberated upon.

All the regional heads of the RSS and its affiliates will attend the meeting. BJP chief Amit Shah is also expected to attend the meeting.

There are reports that during the meeting, a major organisational change may be announced and a new general secretary of the Sangh may be appointed in place of the incumbent Bhaiyyaji Joshi.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The election to choose the sarkaryavah

The sarkaryavah or general secretary is effectively the second most important position in the Sangh. The general secretary is the executive head of the organisation who looks after day-to-day activities.

While the sarshanghachalak is the top post of the RSS, its incumbent is seen in the role of a philosopher and guide leading the organisation.

According to a report in The Indian Express, usually on the second day of the three-day ABPS meeting, the incumbent sarkaryawah announces the election. An election officer is then appointed from among the senior functionaries.

One of the senior functionaries then proposes a name for the new sarkaryawah. The proposed  name is generally accepted, and the new sarkaryawah is announced, added the report.

The current sarkaryawah Suresh alias Bhaiyyaji Joshi was appointed to the post for the third consecutive time in March 2015. There was speculation in 2015 about Joshi stepping down and deputy Sahsarkaryawah Dattatreya Hosbale taking the charge.

According to The New Indian Express report, Joshi, now in his 70, is likely to pass the mantle to Hosabale due to health reasons. A senior RSS functionary, on the condition of anonymity, told The New Indian Express that Hosabale’s elevation has been on the cards for a long time.

However, according to this Indian Express report, no such move is apparently afoot. “Bhaiyyaji hasn’t given any indication that he wants to step down. So, it is unlikely that he will be replaced,” a middle-level RSS functionary was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Why is the election important? 

According to News18, a change of guard in the Sarkaryavah's position historically has had a direct bearing on Sangh’s relations with the BJP. The election is also important as the BJP is trying to make inroads into Karnataka in the upcoming Assembly polls. For this, the BJP will require help from the RSS.

On Tuesday, it was reported that top BJP leaders, including BS Yeddyurappa and Union minister Ananth Kumar, held a meeting with RSS leaders to chalk out the Sangh Parivar's plan for the upcoming Assembly polls in Karnataka.

The Sangh, however, said it would not directly involve itself in giving electoral help to BJP, but has given freedom to its swayamsevaks (volunteers) to do so.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Mar 08, 2018 18:37 PM

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