ALBILAD Daily English Online – With its 3,500 to 4,000 shakhas across Rajasthan, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is trying to play an active role in the state during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
With around 20-100 active workers in each shakha, the RSS began doing its homework for the parliamentary elections right after the December Assembly polls, which saw the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government voted out.
Since January, the organisation has been working on the ground to ensure that the voting percentage in the state increases during the Lok Sabha elections. Thirteen of the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan voted in the fourth phase of elections on April 29 while the remaining 12 seats will go to the polls in the fifth phase on May 6.
As part of its plans, the RSS has categorized the voters into four categories — A, B, C and D.
While the first two categories include RSS workers and people connected to the organization and BJP workers and those who vote for the party, the ‘C’ category comprises people who keep shifting parties. This section has at times voted for the Congress, while at other times, it went with the BJP.
The last category are those who vote for the Congress or the other opposition parties.
The RSS workers believe that there is no point in appealing to the last category of voters as it would be a waste of time. However, they definitely want to spend time with the ‘C’ category which, they feel, can be influenced towards supporting the BJP.
While the outfit is in constant touch with people belonging to the ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories, it is putting in extra efforts to convince those falling under the ‘C’ category.
As part of its mobilization plans, Krishna Gopal, the national Joint Secretary of the RSS, had convened two meetings in the state in January and March.
In between, the RSS workers also held meetings in February to chalk out a clear-cut strategy for the elections, state RSS prachar pramukh Manoj Kumar said.
Even before the dates for the Lok Sabha polls were announced on March 10, the RSS had worked out a three-tier plan for the elections. The first stage included holding meetings, the second stage involved distributing pamphlets while the third stage focused on ensuring that the voters exercised their franchise.
As many as 40 different branches of the RSS, including Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, are working with the tribals in the state while a separate unit is active in the border areas. However, Kumar said that the RSS is focusing more on areas where its network is strong.
“We have also chalked out a clear plan for social media to ask voters to cast their votes. We went from door-to-door and met people in different areas,” he said.
However, not everyone is ready to believe that the RSS is working hard on the ground.
Senior Congress leader Suresh Chaudhary said that RSS, which was once a social organization, has now turned into a political unit supporting the BJP and trying to get plush portfolios for its people. “It (RSS) works for the BJP and is now enjoying it’s due share in politics,” he alleged.
He also said that in 2003, Vasundhara Raje had come to power in the state with the help of RSS after it helped dethrone the then Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.