‘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

Mid Day - - CITY - DHARMENDRA JORE dharmendra.jore@mid-day.com

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.”

PIC/PRADEEP DHIVAR

BJP’s Tripura in-charge Su­nil Deod­har at the Mum­bai Press Club on Tues­day.

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