JAMMU: It was a special gesture of political and social outreach ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha polls in the state by RSS national general secretary Suresh Joshi who during his two-day visit to the city galvanised the RSS cadre into action, thus sounding the poll bugle for 2019.
Popularly known as ‘Bhaiyyaji Joshi’ he especially brought both a hope and promise to Jammu and Ladakh regions during his visit which began from Tuesday.
After hectic poll deliberations he returned to Delhi today with detailed feedback about Sangh’s functioning in the state and its plans to ensure better implementation of its programmes.
On Wednesday, Joshi urged the youth to visit India's frontiers to see how the people living at borders are helping in safeguarding it often at the cost of their lives. It will help in inculcating a deeper sense of patriotism in them, he added, while also urging authorities to facilitate them in visiting the country's borders.
Praising the 'valour' and 'sacrifices' of the border population, he said the people living at borders are playing the same role as the security forces in safeguarding the country. Joshi also stressed that the border people be encouraged to start developmental programmes in their villages.
During the two days Joshi, who is second in command in the RSS after its chief Mohan Bhagwat, held a series of marathon meetings with top BJP leadersand close door meetings with representatives of over forty offshoots of the Sangh to convince them to campaign for BJP in the coming elections.
He also held special meetings with representatives from Jammu and Ladakh.
Joshi’s visit and pre-poll deliberations can be seen in the context of the meeting he held on December 20 with the BJP national president Amit Shah in Delhi to devise a strategy for the Lok Sabha elections.
Sangh’s worry:According to media reports, Sangh Parivar was worried about the anger among the cadre against the BJP leadership in general and former ministers of the PDP-BJP coalition government in particular. “The BJP leaders were asked to improve their style of functioning and establish contact with the hardcore supporters and weaker sections,” a source said.
The meeting assumes significance as the Sangh is apparently not happy with the political developments in Ladakh, especially after the BJP’s poor performance in the civic elections in the state held in November followed by the resignation of sitting Lok Sabha member Thupstan Chhewang from the saffron party.
Though Chhewang had cited health grounds for resignation, insiders said he felt let down by the party leadership as they had failed to fulfill the aspirations of people of his region. The architect of BJP in Ladakh resigning from the party indicated that all was not well with the party in the Himalayan cold desert and there was need of fresh thinking.
According to some reports in the media, Sangh Parivar has already stepped up pressure on the Centre to accept the long-pending demand of granting a Union Territory status to the Ladakh region.
Similarly, there is pressure from different quarters in Jammu to set up a delimitation commission before the Assembly elections to end 'political discrimination' with this part of the state.
BJP had lost all 13 seats in the first ever Municipal Council election held in Leh.
Sources said the Sangh Parivar wants to address the political and economic aspirations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions during the President’s rule.
Ladakh’s battle for resources
Joshi, held a two-hour interaction with prominent Buddhist leaders of Ladakh here.
“We met the RSS leader this morning and discussed various issues related to Ladakh with him,” former minister and BJP MLC Chering Dorjay was quoted as saying in a news report.
Though he did not elaborate on the issues discussed in the meeting, Dorjay said the RSS and its affiliated organizations were running various welfare projects in Ladakh and functioning of the projects was also discussed.
How pressing the alienation of Ladakh region is can gauged from the fact that seeking “complete autonomy from Kashmir’s administrative set up the two Autonomous Hill Councils of Leh and Kargil have separately passed resolutions demanding a separate division for Ladakh region. The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) passed a resolution to this effect on December 1, and its counterpart in Kargil passed a similar resolution signed by all 29 councillors on December 6.
In a special General Council meeting, the LAHDC, Leh also passed the resolution put forth by councilor Phunchok Dorjey stating, “The region has remained backward in terms of education, development and in all other fields. The problems of the region have never been addressed till date with the present set up, and for the equal and even development of the region, a separate division be created.”
Focus on Jammu
Soon after his arrival on Tuesday, Joshi held a meeting with representatives of around 70 shakhas functioning in Jammu city and sought detailed feedback about functioning of shakhas, sources informed. Around 5 to 6 representatives of each shakha attended the meeting which lasted for around 2 hours. “The meeting was attended by nearly 500 swayamsevaks and RSS leaders who were given future roadmap by the RSS general secretary for expanding Sangh base in the state,” sources informed.
The RSS leader asked the representatives of the shakhas to expand the number of shakhas by involving like-minded people and take Sangh ideology to every nook and corner of the state,” sources in the RSS informed.
Joshi along with Rupesh Kumar (prantpracharak of Jammu and Kashmir), ParshotamDeedechi(general secretary) and Brig (Retd) Suchet Singh, Sangh Chalak, also chaired a closed door meeting of top 120 RSS Pracharaks, who are active in different parts of the state including Kashmir to formulate strategy for the coming elections.
The meeting was followed by an interaction with RSS volunteers from Jammu urban areas wherein about 390 volunteers participated and were directed to remain prepared for any responsibility,” sources said.
Top BJP leaders led by union minister and member parliament Dr. Jitendra Singh, member parliament Jugal Kishore, member parliament (Rajya Sabha) Shamsher Singh Manhas, Speaker Dr. Nirmal Singh, State president Ravinder Raina and General Secretary organization Ashok Kaul, former MLAs Kavinder Gupta and Sunil Sharma also called on Bhaiyyaji Joshi.
“Joshi discussed organizational matters of the RSS besides discussing future programmes of the Sangh,” senior state RSS leader (general secretary), Parshotam Dedeechi was quoted as saying in a media report.
Later, Bhaiyyaji Joshi held a “Seema Prabhandhan” meeting attended by RSS leaders from border areas of Jammu region right from Kathua to Rajouri and Poonch. He reiterated the need to further increase organization’s activities in border areas for national security.
Representatives of around 18 affiliated organizations of RSS including VHP, Sewa Bharti, Bhartiya Parishad etc. met the RSS general secretary and discussed in detail the functioning of their organisations, sources informed, adding, “Joshi also discussed with them various issues concerning the state.
Before leaving for the national capital today, the senior RSS leader also met Jammu mayor Chander Mohan Gupta, a delegation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries and former chief secretary SS Billoria to understand the basic requirements of Jammu region.