On May 7, RSS sarkarya vahak (general secretary) Dattatreya Hosabale made a public statement condemning the postpoll violence in West Bengal and the role of the “passive state administration in the conspiracy”. The RSS top executive urged the central government to take all possible steps to ensure the state government “acts to stop the violence”. Now, this was quite a deviation from the Sangh’s public posture and rhetoric of being an ‘apolitical’ organization. In the past, the Sangh has made statements against political violence in Kerala, Punjab, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, etc., but that was after incidents involving the RSS cadre, not those associated with the BJP.
This latest reaction is seen as part of a larger Sanghparivar strategy to garner the sympathies of the Bengali bhadra lok as well as to keep morale up after the crushing defeat in the assembly polls. Before Hosabale’s statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dialed state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to take stock of the situation. BJP presi dent J.P. Nadda also did a twoday tour of the state, where he met many of the families hit by the violence.
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A MATTER OF PROPRIETY
Adhering to norms and protocols is the only way civil servants can protect themselves from political pressures
THE RUMBLINGS WITHIN
EVEN AS THE BJP’S EXPANSIONIST DRIVE CONTINUES AT A NATIONAL LEVEL, IT IS BATTLING ATTRITION IN SEVERAL KEY STATES IT RULES, INCLUDING SOME THAT GO TO POLLS EARLY NEXT YEAR
THE YOUNG SURVIVORS
On April 8, Deepak Solanki, resident of Bagratawa, a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district, tested positive for the coronavirus. Two days earlier, Solanki and his wife Anita developed a fever and other flu-like symptoms, but they thought it was likely just about of common flu—it hadn’t yet sunk in that Covid was no longer the urban phenomenon they imagined it to be. However, an RT-PCR test, done on the insistence of Deepak, 45, a district medical representative, proved otherwise. Deepak was admitted to a private medical facility the same day and Anita two days later. Their children—two daughters, aged 18 and 15, and a son, 12—were left in the care of their nephew Shrikant Solanki. All three children, too, had tested positive.
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