RSS to hold general body meeting in Madhya Pradesh on Friday; national security set to top agenda

In the backdrop of Pulwama terror attack and the air strike by the Indian Air Force thereafter, which has led to a raging political debate in the country, the national security issue will be the top agenda in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) general body meeting, which will begin in Madhya Pradesh from 8 March.

The three-day meeting of the Sangh’s highest decision-making body — Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) — assumes significance given the escalating tension between India and Pakistan after the terror attack at Pulwama by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed and the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

This will be the first time that Madhya Pradesh will be hosting the ABPS meet in Gwalior, which will be inaugurated by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at 8.30 am on Friday.

 RSS to hold general body meeting in Madhya Pradesh on Friday; national security set to top agenda

File image of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. PTI

Ahead of the three-day meeting, the national executive members of the RSS met on Thursday to give a final touch to the ABPS agenda. “The ABPS meeting will evaluate the organisational works of the Sangh in the last one year, and chalk out organisation strategy for the next one year," said RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar pramukh (national publicity in-charge) Arun Kumar.

The meet will see participation by 1,400 members – of which nearly 850 are elected ones from shakha (local branch of RSS) level to prant-level (zones) in a state. Rest will be the office bearers, ex-officio members and representatives of 39 organisations of Sangh Parivar, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), etc.

The meeting will also witness the participation of top BJP leaders like party president Amit Shah, Ramlal, etc. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t participate, sources said.

According to a Sangh source, discussions will be held on the preparedness of Lok Sabha elections. “RSS never asks anyone to support and vote any particular political party. In fact, the swayamsevaks at ground level will encourage voters to participate in the democratic process and protect the national interest, and ensure maximum polling,” the source told Firstpost.

The RSS chief in recent past had remarked that keeping ‘national interest in mind’, the NOTA (None of the above) option shouldn’t be used while casting vote.

RSS — the ideological fountainhead of the BJP — holds three top-level meetings every year: ABPS, Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Baithak (national executive) and meeting of the Sangh pracharaks.

This meeting will also be important for Madhya Pradesh and act as a booster, as the state recently changed hands from 15-year BJP rule to Congress. The state BJP, which has been facing internal dissensions, would make all efforts to retain its 26 seats (out of 29) won in 2014 Lok Sabha election.

At the end of the meeting, a few resolutions will be passed. Issues likely to be discussed in the ABPS meeting are national security and terrorism, India-Pakistan diplomatic relationship, Jammu and Kashmir and Article 370 of the Constitution, Ram Mandir, agriculture and farmer distress, and economic issues.

“Though Ram Mandir issue will be discussed, it won’t be pushed beyond a point, keeping the present circumstances in mind,” a source said.

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Updated Date: Mar 07, 2019 21:12:44 IST