Gimmick or reality?
AN alleged internal survey by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) of the Shivraj Singh government’s prospects in the assembly election has triggered speculations in the state. The survey is said to have given the BJP only 60 to 70 seats in the 230-strong state assembly while projecting the Congress as clear winner with more than 120 seats. Main causes for the BJP’s possible defeat, according to the survey, are corruption and failure to address deepening agrarian crisis. However, there are two conflicting versions about the alleged survey. One section in the BJP concedes that indeed such a survey did take place and its finding should make the party leaders sit up and ponder. Another version has it that the RSS has deliberately spread rumour about such a survey having been conducted to squeezee more benefits for its volunteers. The RSS has all-pervasive presence in the Shivraj government. In all major appointments and postings, the Sangh leaders have a major say. Moreover, governmentt programmes and schemes also take due care of the RSS interests. Yet, according to BJP sources, the Sangh leadersers want more benefits. Ever willing to concede RSS demands,emands, the Shivraj government has recently announceded two major decisions which directly benefit the patron organization of the Sangh Parivar. One of the decisions is to provide pension of ` 8000 per month to MISA prisoners who spent even a day in jail during the Emergency. The cabinet also enhanced pension amount from ` 15,000 to ` 25,000 for MISA detenue who were in jail for more than one month. The other decision, which has far reaching consequences for the very government structure, was taken on September 27. The state cabinet ratified the Contract (Samvida) rules, 2017 which allows the chief minister and ministers to appoint people of their choice in grade three and grade four jobs. Earlier, only the retired government personnel from key positions would be appointed under Samvida rules. This decision, in effect, opens the gates for RSS sympathisers to enter in the government positions at various levels without facing any recruitment test or possessing requisite qualifications. This will be solely on the government discretion to choose people, regardless of their qualifications-educational or otherwise. Political observers say the RSS has extracted advance price in the form of the two decisions to work for BJP’s victory. In the aftermath of the farmer stir fiasco, an atmosphere was created that the RSS leadership is annoyed with the chief minister’s handling of the farmer issues.