The RSS leaders who were present in the meeting raised issues of the government’s “well-intended welfarism being stalled at various levels of bureaucracy” and asked for that to be addressed by the party urgently. There was an emphasis on mobilising more Jan-Pratinidhis (people’s representatives) aligned with the Sangh Parivar’s thinking and improving the BJP-RSS communication at all levels, an RSS functionary said.
RSS leaders also pointed to the fall-out of the increasing number of camps in the State devoted to many leaders, and said contradictory statements especially on the party’s leadership may not bear well on the party’s working. MP goes to the polls at the end of next year and will be a test of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan‘s long tenure.
“Many BJP-ruled States such as Karnataka and Gujarat have seen a change in leadership but Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a rooted OBC leader who continues to be at the helm of affairs, despite challenges. But the government and party need to address many loopholes in governance. This can happen only through collective efforts,” a Sangh functionary said.
The meeting held at BJP’s national secretary BL Santhosh’s house was attended by BJP president JP Nadda, and top leaders from the RSS from all three provinces of Madhya Bharat, Mahakaushal, and Malwa. Some RSS top functionaries such as Deepak Vispute, Ashok Agarwal, and Yashwant Indaporkar had been specifically asked to give ground inputs.
The presence of Arun Kumar, joint general secretary of the RSS who is in charge of coordination with the BJP, in the meeting is particularly significant.
The functionary explained that apart from the CM, there were many prominent faces of the party from the State, including Narottam Mishra, Narendra Singh Tomar, Jyotiraditya Scindia, VD Sharma, and others, and meetings, once in at least two months need to be held for the campaign to be coordinated well.
“The RSS feels the party can decide about the leadership in any State, but till then the party and government need to put up a united face, and we all have to work together to retain people’s trust, ” a functionary said, on condition of anonymity.
The above-quoted functionary also said the Sangh Parivar was concerned about the influence of outfits such as Jai Yuva Adivasi Shakti Sangathan (JAYS) and Bhim Army that was “influencing” ST and SC communities, and has suggested outreach efforts to rope in leaders of small communities.
“In neighboring states of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, there are attempts to mislead the ST community and take them away from the Hindutva fold. We are working to stall these efforts. The meeting was more to discuss a long term strategy for the State and not elections alone,” said another functionary.
“Muslims are less than ten percent in the State. But the percentage of SC-ST communities is around 30 percent. There is a need to workout a plan for the Gwalior-Chambal zones where the Congress too has influential leaders,” another functionary said.
The intervention of the RSS is learnt to have played an important role in smoothening the relationship between CM Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Maurya before the assembly elections in UP.
In the 2018 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP had the lost elections narrowly, but later defections in the Congress-led by minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who along with his supporters joined the BJP, again brought the saffron party back to power in the state.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat visited MP in February and met many leaders, particularly insisting that health and education become priority areas for the state government.