The Fight Isn't Over
India Today|May 24, 2021
WEST BENGAL/POST­-POLL VIOLENCE
Anilesh S. Mahajan

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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