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Myth of Modi-RSS rift: They remain very much on same page (Comment)


The emphatic victory of the (BJP) in the and assembly polls has brought the partys relationship with its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), back in focus.

One key question for which an answer has been sought ever since led the to power in 2014 is whether it is Modi who dominates the or vice-versa?

Some political observers have been predicting that Modi will now dominate the Others feel that with the Prime Minister and his protege Amit Shah being in full command of the and leading it to one victory after the other, it is the beginning of the end of the RSS' influence on the

This is patently untrue.

The answers to these questions lie to some extent in the organisational structure of the and the But before we go into this, it would be pertinent to point out that those who are raising such questions are starting this narrative on the premise that Modi and the are at loggerheads with each other. The fact is that Modi and have been on the same page, especially since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The RSS' learning from its experience during Atal Behari Vajpayee's earlier regime has ensured that it does not get involved in the micro-management of either the party or the government. The top brass and the Modi-Shah duo have been communicating with each other almost every day, discussing crucial policy and organisational issues. The has largely given a free hand to Modi and Shah and they have responded well by appointing people with strong backgrounds in key positions within the government and the

An important example of the and Modi being on the same page is the priority given to the north-east by the Prime Minister.

For the RSS, expanding its footprint and strengthening its influence in the north-east is top of its agenda. It feels that conversion of Hindus into Christianity has changed the demographics of this region, resulting in a threat to India's territorial integrity and this trend needs to be reversed. More than 4,000 pracharaks (full-time workers) have been deployed in the region alone.

Modi's first official domestic visit outside Delhi as Prime Minister was to the north-east. No other Prime Minister has visited north-eastern states so many times in such a short span after assuming office as Modi has. In most of the central government ministries, projects in north-eastern states are being pushed vigorously.

Organisationally, Ram Madhav, an Pracharak, has been given charge of the north-east. The results are visible. The has made strong inroads into the region. It has formed governments in and Assam -- and now in Manipur. The party is hopeful of wresting other states in the near future.

Now, if one looks at the organisational structure of the BJP, one would realise how intrinsically the and are linked. Both at the national level and the state level, the second-most important post in units, after the President's, is that of an "Organising Secretary".

These posts are manned exclusively by Pracharaks. The Organising Secretary has the last word when it comes to organisational issues. He would sit in all crucial meetings and is part of the decision-making process at every level. In bigger state units like Uttar Pradesh, as well as at the national level, the Organising Secretary is assisted by several deputies. All of them are full-timers. They generally look after the affairs in states allocated to them.

To make this clearer, let us look at the case of Sunil Bansal, the Organising Secretary of the BJP's unit. Bansal played a key role in the 2014 victory of the in the state. He was the Man Friday of President Amit Shah. At that time he was "Assistant Organising Secretary (Sah Sangathan Mantri)". He was elevated to the post of Organising Secretary after his stellar role in the BJP's performance in 2014. In 2017, he played a key role in delivering the state to the

In Uttarakhand, a similar role has been played by another full-timer, Shiv Prakash, who is an Assistant Organising Secretary at the national level. He assists the Organising Secretary Ram Lal, who is also an Pracharak.

If one looks at the Modi's ministers, almost three-fourths have been committed cadres. Before being drafting to the BJP, senior ministers like J.P. Nadda, Rajnath Singh, Narendra Singh Tomar, Manohar Parrikar, Nitin Gadkari and Prakash Javadekar have been part of the They were all handpicked by Modi.

The Chief Ministers picked by Modi such as Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), M.L. Khattar (Haryana) and Raghubar Das (Jharkhand) have all been committed workers.

Thus there is not going to be any shift in the balance of power within the Sangh Parivar as the Modi-Shah duo and the top brass are not competing with each other -- they are rather complementing each other. The recent poll results are the outcome of this synergy -- and Modi, Shah and the realise it well.

(The writer is the author of the book, "Know About RSS". He can be reached at



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 15 2017. 16:04 IST