‘Malicious Intent’: Priyanka Slams RSS-BJP on Reservation Remark

The tweet cited by Gandhi was a statement by RSS publicity head Kumar on Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation.

Updated20 Aug 2019, 03:00 PM IST
4 min read

Taking a swipe at the BJP government, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday, 20 August, said that at a time when the government is strangling pro-people laws, their debate on reservation is a facade to hide their ‘real intentions’.

“The confidence of the RSS is high and their intentions are dangerous. At a time when the BJP government is throttling pro-people laws, the RSS has also raised the issue of reservation,” she tweeted in Hindi.

Priyanka added, “Debate is just an excuse, the RSS-BJP are targeting social justice but, will you allow this to happen?”

This comes a day after she cited an RSS tweet mentioning that all issues in society should be resolved through cordial dialogue to attack the government over its actions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The tweet by RSS that Gandhi cited was of a statement by its ‘prachar pramukh’ (publicity head) Arun Kumar on the organisation’s chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation.

What Happened?

The RSS on Monday, 19 August, dismissed as "needless" the row over its chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on reservation, asserting that he merely stressed on the need for mutual talks in harmony within society to address any issue.

The RSS chief had said on Sunday, 18 August, that there should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it.

RSS' 'prachar pramukh' (publicity head) Arun Kumar said in a tweet that his organisation has made it clear time and again that it fully supports reservation for Dalits, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and those getting it on to economic grounds.

"A needless controversy is being sought to be created over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's address at a programme in Delhi. He merely stressed on the importance of addressing issues in society through mutual talks in harmony and called for considering a sensitive issue like reservation in a similar manner," Kumar said.

‘Conversation in Harmonious Atmosphere’

There should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it, the RSS chief said on Sunday. Bhagwat said he had spoken on reservation earlier as well, but it created a lot of noise and the whole discussion diverted from the actual issue.

Those who favour reservation should speak keeping in mind the interests of those who are against it, and similarly those who oppose it should do the vice-versa, he said.

He said that discussion on reservation results in sharp actions and reactions every time whereas there is a need for harmony in the different sections of the society on this approach.

Earlier, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief had advocated for review of the reservation policy, drawing sharp reactions from many parties and caste groups.

Bhagwat said that the RSS, the BJP and the party-led government were three different entities and one cannot be held responsible for actions of another.

Talking about the perception of Sangh's influence over the Narendra Modi dispensation, Bhagwat said, "Since there are Sangh workers in BJP and this government, they will listen to RSS, but it is not mandatory for them to agree with us. They can disagree as well."

Since the BJP is in government, it has to look at the bigger picture and can disagree with the RSS point of view, he said, adding that once a party comes to power, for it the government and national interest become priority.

Bhagwat was speaking in the concluding session of Gyan Utsav which was on the competitive exams. Gyan Utsav was organised by the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in Delhi.

‘Shed Anti-Reservation Mindset’: Mayawati

BSP chief Mayawati on Monday asked the RSS to shed its "anti-reservation mindset", saying reservation was a constitutional provision and disturbing it would be an injustice.

A day after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said there should be a conversation in a harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it, Mayawati said such a debate would generate a dangerous situation of doubt which was not needed.

In a tweet, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said, "The RSS saying that there should be open-hearted debate pertaining to reservation given to SC/ST/OBC, generates dangerous situation of doubt, which is not at all needed".

She also said, "Reservation is a humanitarian and constitutional provision, and disturbing it is injustice and improper. It would be better if the Sangh sheds its anti-reservation mindset."

Congress Slams RSS

The Congress on Monday cited the RSS chief's remarks on reservation to allege that the "anti Dalit-backward face" of the RSS-BJP has been exposed.

The attack by the opposition party came a day after Bhagwat’s comments.

"Attack on the rights of the poor, trampling on constitutional rights, snatching the rights of Dalits-backwards. This is the real BJP agenda," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

"The anti Dalit-backward face of the RSS-BJP has been exposed. The conspiracy to end reservation for the poor and the policy of changing the Constitution have been uncovered," he said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Published: 19 Aug 2019, 07:29 AM IST
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