In UP, RSS goes all out for Hindu Nationalist Leader “Modi”

Etah: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Hindutva hard-liner Kalyan Singh is not a popular leader in his constituency. Singh, who won Etah as an independent candidate with the support of the Samajwadi Party in 2009, has done little to develop his Lok Sabha seat, which remains one of the most backward districts of Uttar Pradesh today.

The Lodh-Rajput leader re-joined the BJP last month after having parted ways twice with the party in the past. Controversial for his role as chief minister at the time of the Babri Masjid demolition (in 1992), Singh was a one-time favourite of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The Liberhan Commission had criticised Singh for allowing the Sangh to run a parallel government in the state when he was CM. More than two decades later Singh, a spent force, is overseeing the campaign of his son Rajveer, who is contesting on a BJP ticket from Etah. Kalyan Singh (left) with Modi at his rally in Etah.

Naresh Sharma/ Firstpost But the falling political stock of the Kalyan Singh and his poor development record in Etah is seeing the RSS, which has taken an unprecedented interest in the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, hard-sell its new poster boy to turn the tide in constituency back in favour of the BJP. While RSS members acknowledge Singh’s role in furthering their cause, their praise is reserved for the man of the moment.

Asked about the significance of Kalyan Singh’s seat for the RSS, Rajeshwar Singh, a senior member of the Sangh, says, “Kalyan Singh had left the party after he fell out with some of the leaders. But he is a hinduvadi and a swayamsevak. He put his chief ministership on the line to raise the issue of Ram Mandir. He has a sacrificed a lot for the nation.” Rajeshwar is president of the Dharam Jagran Samanvaya Vibhag for Uttarakhand, Meerut and Braj.

Kishore Kumar Singh, an RSS worker, when asked about Kalyan Singh’s influence in Etah, said,”Now it is har har Modi, ghar, ghar Modi. This election campaign is running in the name of Modi. The main issue is Modi’s model of development.” Kishore is state convenor of the Sangh’s ‘Hindu-Muslim Vivah programme’, which he describes as an initiative that “organises the shuddhi ceremony and wedding of Muslim girls who marry Hindu boys.” What about Modi and his significance to this election? “Everyone knows about the ‘Modi wave’. Such a wave has come after 250 years,” Rajeshwar said. Kishore Kumar Singh, state president of the Hindu-Muslim Vivah programme of the Dharam Jagran Vibhag. Naresh Sharma/ Firstpost “It was the Maratha Peshwas who had created a Hindutva wave 250 years ago.

They ended the Muslim raj in the country and brought back a Hindu rajya. This new wave has come because of the persecution of the Congress, the appeasement of Muslims. How long will voters suffer? It is in such a scenario that a leader like Modi has risen…A BJP that was dead is now emerging as party with a majority. We have many expectations from Modi. This is not a wave, this is a storm,” he said. It is a ‘storm’ the RSS has long been waiting and working hard for. Having started preparations in December well before the BJP had officially announced Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate, the Sangh has been diligently implementing the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s three-step agenda ahead of the election.

Rahul Gupta, a practicing lawyer and RSS coordinator for the Etah Lok Sabha constituency said, “Mohan Bhagwatji has given us three directions. The first is to get more and more people registered to vote. Especially the young blood who have completed 18 years of age.” “The second is to create awareness in votes on issues of national interest, on development and on Hindutva. First is national interest and second is creating a conducive environment for Hindutva. The third is to ensure that voters come out in large numbers to cast their vote.

On polling day, in every booth, 10 karyakartas of the RSS will assist voters in reaching their booth and before voting we will remind them of what is good for the nation,” he said. Rahul Gupta, RSS coordinator for the Etah Lok Sabha constituency. Naresh Sharma/ Firstpost Gupta says that while the RSS has always been involved in elections in a limited capacity, this time it is different. “There is a lot of expectation from Modi and I feel we have become a lot more involved than before in this election. After a long time, we see a strong leader who can take bold steps on international and internal issues.

And RSS also feels Modi is a suitable candidate for this,” he said Asked what was responsible for this additional push, Gupta said, “There is a lot of excitement among our workers. It is after a long wait that a leader has come who we feel can achieve our goals and create the right environment for the direction in which RSS wants to take this country.” On Kalyan Singh and Etah, Gupta said, “Here too, the issue is only one. Yes, the candidate is deserving. But more important is the national issue. This campaign of the RSS is not for any one particular candidate.

The goal is to change the national scenario. Kalyan Singh was a good CM and leader. We have expectations from Rajveer.” So what of the contentious Ram mandir issue? “Ram mandir is an issue for the RSS. If Modi comes up with a solution, we will be happy,” Gupta said. The organisational machinery that the RSS has committed to the campaign to bolster Modi’s chances is evident from the confidence with which Sangh members speak of the results. “If the BJP does not win now, it can never win. If a leader is holding 20 rallies a day, his hard work is bound to pay off. Our support is with him.

All the different units of the Sangh such as the Dharam Jagran Vibhag, the Bajrang Dal, the VHP, the Surya Dal, which works with Dalit children, are behind this campaign,” Kishore Kumar Singh said. “All the swayamsevaks of the Sangh have put their full strength to ensure that all the hinduvadis vote. The roots of Sangh are very deep and old in Etah district,” Rajeshwar said.

Source: First Post