‘RSS not behind every BJP win’
Former RSS pracharak, Sunil Deodhar, who helped BJP wrest Tripura from the CPM’s grasp, says it is grass-roots level work that decides votes
MUMBAI man and former RSS Pracharak Sunil Deodhar, credited with winning Tripura for the BJP in the recent elections, said the ruling party’s parent body (the RSS) does not necessarily work on ensuring electoral wins, but helps the party out whenever required.
Deodhar said if people believe that the RSS alone was behind BJP’s every success, then the party would not have taken years to register substantial victories in influential areas like Nagpur and other regions, where it has been appreciated for its work in the social welfare, education and tribal development.
“At present, the RSS gets maximum traction in Kerala, but there the BJP has just one MLA,” he said, at a media interaction at the Mumbai Press Club on Tuesday.
He did, however, admit that the RSS provided the BJP with dedicated and ideologically strong workers. “I’m an RSS swayamsevak who worked full-time for the organisation for many years before joining the the BJP. It is true that the BJP has maximum people from the RSS, but the organisation does not force swayamsevaks to join the party. RSS workers find the BJP an ideologically suitable party to work with,” Deodhar said.
Turnabout in Tripura
Deodhar said even he was surprised at the magnitude of the victory. He said once he was made Tripura incharge in 2014, he had started working primarily to expose the CPM. His connect with the state was through an extensive social work. Before taking up the assignment, he had contributed to Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha victory in Varanasi.
“The CPM was angry with me because I was consistently telling the locals about the party’s failure in developing the state. In fact, the Congress was the major Opposition there, but it did not really want to oppose the communists because of a friendship among the top leadership in Delhi. Gradually, the BJP was able to replace the Congress as Opposition, and PM Narendra Modi’s winning streak across the country, especially in Assam, made people believe that we can deliver if elected to power,” he said.
He said the CPM had kept the people poor. “Their CM’s speech had not changed in the past 20 years. He continued to call them deprived and oppressed. If the CPM was in power for two decades, who was responsible for the people’s plight? We will change that. Tripura will be abuzz with industry and tourism. There will be jobs, peace and prosperity in the coming years,” he said.
Majority decides beef ban
When asked why his party’s policy on beef ban changed in the northeast where it doesn’t oppose local food habits, he said, “In the northeast, Christians are in the majority, then Muslims in significant number and a section of Hindus who eat beef. It’s a democracy where the majority decides such issues.”
BJP’s Tripura in-charge Sunil Deodhar at the Mumbai Press Club on Tuesday.