DEHRADUN: Beginning with chief minister Trivendra Rawat, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharaks are likely to be attached with every minister in Uttarakhand.
Though the pracharaks are expected to function as a link to a minister, RSS and the ruling BJP, the word is the Sangh workers will also keep a watch on ‘freewheeling’ ministers. From distribution of tickets to the formation of government, the Sangh always has a say in the matters of BJP. It is now expected to maintain its grip in day-to-day affairs of the government.
Interestingly, not only ministers but some MLAs are also under the Sangh lens. A BJP legislator with a Congress past spoke to HT about his apprehension. “There seems to be no trust on us. A RSS man has been attached with me from the day I came to Dehradun last week,” he told HT.
Dhirendra Panwar, a former RSS pracharak, has been appointed as officer on special duty (OSD) to chief minister Trivendra Rawat. Panwar was earlier associated with Leader of Opposition Matbar Singh Kandari and later with Speaker Harbans Kapoor.
In the present government, the chief minister has a Sangh bachground and is in sync with the Sangh philosophy. Rawat’s five ministers were formerly with Congress. Cabinet ministers Yashpal Arya, Subodh Uniyal and Harak Singh Rawat had a long association with Congress. Arya and Rawat were a part of the erstwhile Harish Rawat-led Congress government. Satpal Maharaj and Rekha Arya too have Congress background.
It is not the first time that the Sangh – the BJP’s ideologcial mentor – has pitched for the role of RSS workers in the Uttarakhand government. In 2007, the Sangh had attached pracharaks with several ministers and chief minister. Nevertheless, the then chief minister BC Khanduri had returned his OSD Rajendra Pant, a former RSS pracharak, and attached him with the office of Harbans Kapoor.
Naresh Bansal, who comes from Sangh and functions as a BJP general secretary, says the RSS pracharaks could prove helpful at times. “The clean image of Sangh pracharaks is an advantage. There is nothing wrong in having such individuals who can give advice on crucial times (to a minister),” Bansal told HT.