Rebel faction of Goa RSS is back home

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Panaji, March 6 (IANS) In a “ghar-wapsi” of sorts, members of a breakaway Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) faction in Goa on Monday unanimously dissolved the rebel unit and announced their collective re-entry back into the Sangh.

Addressing the media on Monday in Panaji, now-former rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar, however, said that their re-entry into the RSS fold did not mean that he and the local RSS cadres had mended bridges with the Goa BJP, and warned leaders of the party not to stray far from the values and principles of the Sangh.

The RSS publicity division chief Manmohan Vaidya told IANS that the re-entry of Velingkar and other Swayamsevaks back into the RSS fold was expected.

Velingkar said that the Goa RSS leaders and volunteers had shown immense respect towards the ideals and teachings of the RSS, despite their exit from the organisation in September last year.

“When we stepped out of the RSS hierarchy, our objective was to teach the Goa BJP — which was destroying the core of RSS teachings — a lesson in the assembly elections. We have succeeded in doing that. Our mission in a way is complete. The BJP leaders should realise that they should never take the RSS for granted,” Velingkar told reporters.

He was sacked from the RSS in August this year, after he repeatedly accused Parrikar and the Goa BJP of deviating from RSS idealogy and betraying the cause of regional languages by allowing English medium primary schools — most of which are run by Goa’s Roman Catholic Church — to avail of financial grants.

After he was sacked, Velingkar formed a rebel Sangh outfit in Goa in September, which was joined by thousands of local volunteers as well as a majority of the organisations’ state office-bearers.

Parrikar, through a cabinet decision in 2012, had allowed continuation of state education ministry’s financial grants to English medium primary schools, even as in the run-up to the last assembly elections, he had opposed grants to the same schools.

Velingkar, who is also the co-convenor of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch has accused Parrikar and the state BJP of betrayal — a campaign which led to his eventual sacking as state RSS chief and the appointment of Laxman Behare as his replacement.

In a bid to defeat the BJP, Velingkar and the Manch had also formed a new political party, the Goa Suraksha Manch, which contested the February 4 elections, in alliance with the Shiv Sena and one of Goa’s oldest regional political party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

Velingkar on Monday also said that all the members of the RSS, who had stepped out of the organisation with him, would be rejoining “shakhas” and continue their work as the volunteers of the Sangh under the aegis of the Nagpur-based organisation.

Reacting to the development, Vaidya said: “This was bound to happen. We had said that Velingkar will join us back.”

“The Sangh constitution is such that RSS members can join any party, but after that he cannot be an office-bearer if he rejoins the Sangh,” Vaidya said.

–IANS

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