“Manipur Should Be Given Priority, Violence Should Be Stopped”: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

'Manipur Should Be Given Priority, Violence Should Be Stopped': RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

New Delhi:

The elections are over and the focus should now shift to nation-building, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said today, in a speech peppered with criticism about the way the campaign was conducted on both sides of the political divide. In this context, he underscored the need to fast-track peace in Manipur, saying the violence needs to end on a priority basis.

Speaking at an RSS programme in Nagpur, Mr Bhagwat spoke of the northeastern state for the first time since violence broke out there in May last year. “Manipur has been waiting for peace for a year.

Violence has to be stopped and it has to be given priority,” he said. “We have made strides in many fields like economy, defence strategy, sports, culture, technology etc… That does not mean that we have overcome all the challenges,” he added.

Mr Bhagwat also had advice for the new government, indicating that its approach to both election and governance should be tweaked.

“Election is a process of building consensus. Parliament has two sides so that both aspects of any question can be considered… Every issue has two sides. If one side is addressed by one party, the Opposition party should address the other dimension, so that we reach to the right decision,” Mr Bhagwat said in words that were seen as underscoring the importance of having an Opposition. Two years ago, the RSS had made its disapproval clear of the BJP’s professed “Congress-Mukt Bharat” goal.

This time, the Congress has bounced back, hiking its 2019 score from 52 to 99.  The mandate, while cutting down then BJP numbers to 240 — way below the majority mark of 272 — has given the Opposition 234 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Mr Bhagwat said the whys and wherefores of the mandate, which comes once every five years,  does not concern the Sangh.

“The Sangh works for refining Public Opinion in every election, did it this time also but does not get entangled in the analysis of the outcome… Why people get elected? To go to parliament, evolve a consensus on various issues.  Our tradition is of evolving consensus… This is a competition not war,” he said.

But he also frowned upon negativity of election time, saying, “The way things have happened, the way both the sides have attacked below the belt, the way completely ignored the impact of campaign strategies that would lead to divisions, increasing social and mental fault-lines, and unnecessarily drew the organisations like RSS in the same. Using technology, falsehood was spread, absolute falsehood.”

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