Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
Slamming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as ‘extra-constitutional authority’, the Congress hounds out government staff associated with RSS’ shakhas
Jaipur: Congress Government in Rajasthan seems to have opened up a hostile front against the RSS. Recently, it called RSS an ‘extra-constitutional authority’ when it convened an assembly session called specially to celebrate 70 years of the Constitution. It was supposed to discuss Bhim Rao Ambedkar and the Constitution but the debate deteriorated into vicious mud-slinging campaign against the RSS. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot dragged RSS into the picture calling it an ‘extra-constitutional authority’. Soon after this session, it started a campaign to identify government staff attending RSS shakhas in the State.
This exercise has started in Ajmer where government employees have been asked to submit self-declaration letters with information pertaining to their name, surname, position, age and their association with RSS branch.
Prior to issuing this diktat, the Rajasthan assembly convened a two-day special session to mark 70 years of the adoption of the Constitution. However, on its second day, the session seemed more like an agenda convened to criticise the RSS where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot openly attacked RSS.
Gehlot had announced that the two-day session was being convened to discuss the thoughts on Bhimrao Ambedkar and the Constitution where a good debate shall be held in the assembly.
However, the Chief Minister stunned everyone by openly attacking the RSS in the assembly session.
This session was called on November 29 when he dared the RSS to convert itself into a political party and come out in the open. He said, “The RSS is acting like an extra-constitutional authority in the country. It should convert itself into a political party and come out in the open.”
He did not stop there. He said, “Today, no Minister or Chief Minister could be appointed without RSS’ consent”. All members were surprised to listen to this debate in a session which was otherwise convened to discuss the Constitution.
A week after the Assembly session, there came a news that Ajmer additional collector Kailash Chandra Sharma has dispatched an order where government employees shall have to fill in the details of their association with the RSS.
Later, speaking to media, Sharma said, "We are collecting details to file a reply against a question raised in the Assembly session. The employees have been asked to submit self-declaration on whether they attend RSS shakha or not," Kailash Chandra Sharma, Additional Collector, said.
In the second Assembly session from June 27 to August 5, an Independent MLA from Gangapur (Sawaimadhopur), Ramkesh had raised a starred question seeking details about RSS shakhas and the list of the government employees attending these shakhas in the state.
“Our participation in shakha programmes will continue. the worst they can do is to transfer us elsewhere, but we are not scared”
Meanwhile, Ajmer North BJP MLA Vasudev Devnani termed it as an attempt to strike fear among government employees. “This looks like an undeclared emergency on State Government employees. There is no such restriction on joining any social organisation for an employee, then why this self declaration is being sought, he questioned.
Another government employee on conditions of anonymity said that they want to threaten us with their move but we are just not scared. “Our participation in shakha programmes will continue. The worst they can do is to transfer us elsewhere, but we are not scared,” he said.