New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the first day of its three-day coordination meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday discussed issues faced by farmers and the common man. This assumes significance in the light of the fact that the Narendra Modi government rode to power in 2014 on the poll plank of economic growth.
According to sources, economic issues were the focal point of discussion at Madhyanchal Bhawan. While the RSS expressed serious concern over rising prices of food items, especially vegetables and fruit, its affiliated bodies like the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) took up issues faced by farmers.
"Declining agricultural growth is a matter of concern. Besides the Land Acquisition Bill, the other issues like availability and prices of fertilisers especially Urea and pesticides, crop loan, insurance cover against damaged crop due to natural calamities, were discussed. To make agriculture a profitable venture, the government has to ensure farmers get the right price of their produce. Farmers are unable to bear the rise in input prices, and as a result, the new generation from farmers' families are giving up agriculture and moving to cities for an alternative career, which is a matter of serious concern," a source privy to the meeting said.
Ahead of the meeting, Manmohan Vaidya, RSS national publicity chief, (Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh) told Firstpost, "This time the size of the meeting is double of what it was in the past because 15 affiliates like BKS, BMS and Swadeshi Jagran Manch, and 93 functionaries of independent nationalistic organisations will participate in it and exchange notes on relevant issues during the coordination meeting. Senior functionaries of the RSS will convey the feedback received from these bodies — working on ground level across the country on various important issues, including on government policies and decisions — to government representatives. This practice was prevalent during the Vajpayee government as well.”
The inaugural day of the meeting, which was presided over by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat witnessed a host of Cabinet ministers – Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Manohar Parikkar, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Anant Kumar, Radha Mohan Singh and BJP president Amit Shah — attending the deliberations.
Besides agricultural issues — which was discussed at length and on which feedback was provided to the government — the contentious ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) issue, dear to the Sangh Parivar, was also reportedly touched upon.
However, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav denied it saying, "Today’s discussion was on economic issues and how we should move ahead in the future. Ram Mandir and OROP were not on the agenda for discussion today, and any report saying that it happened is absolutely false and baseless. OROP is a government policy and its implementation is a government matter. This meeting is not about any review of the government or its policies and programmes."
What is the meeting all about?
The coordination meeting of the Sangh Parivar along with its affiliated bodies, the BJP and the government is bi-annual in nature and is held in January and September. The last meeting was held in Nagpur. As the name suggests, it’s to coordinate with government representatives (top Cabinet ministers) and discuss important issues based on feedback received from the field across the country. The RSS and its affiliated bodies discuss annual programmes and actions taken. Besides this, the RSS annually holds another meeting called ‘Pratinidhi Sabha’ (meeting of the representatives) in March — participated by 1200 elected representatives of the RSS, in which resolutions are passed. It’s the parliamentary forum of the RSS.
A source in the know of the things claimed, "There’s a misconception about this coordination meeting. It’s not a performance appraisal for the government. That’s not the job of the RSS. It is a coordination between the Sangh and government representatives, which provides a platform for free exchange of ideas based on feedback and not questioning one another. Each organisation shares its action plan and thereby supports each other. The RSS puts forth its suggestions based on the feedback it receives from affiliated bodies. It never orders the government to do or implement any plan. Similarly, the government, which is only accountable to the Parliament, never shares its future policies and decisions, that it plans to take on any particular issue, with the Sangh."
While economic issues were on first day’s agenda of the coordination meeting, the second day will witness brainstorming on social, cultural and educational issues. As part of social issues, a session will be held on society and media.
The concluding day on 4 September, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate, the focal point of discussion and deliberation will be national security. With rise in terror attacks, infiltration and incidences of ceasefire violations by Pakistan, issues related to terrorism and insurgency, with special emphasis on the effect of global terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS) on Indian youth, will be discussed.
A few other important topics on the agenda are religious census, reservation and diplomatic issues related to Pakistan and China. A discussion on the upcoming Bihar election is expected to take place.
“The RSS discusses the issues with a national perspective and the idea behind this meeting is to see what the RSS can do tackle challenges. Like, today, the discussion was on broad economic challenges before the nation that various organisations brought on the discussion table,” a source told Firstpost.
Participation of ministers
Earlier, too these BJP leaders had participated in the meetings of the RSS, but, then they were in the Opposition. "This is a routine meeting of the RSS. Last year, Rajnath Singh and Ramlal were key persons who attended the meet. Now, since they are in the government, their presence has been drawing so much attention. Even during NDA-1, top ministers participated in the coordination meeting," the source said
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Updated Date: Sep 03, 2015 14:52:07 IST