Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday asked RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to clarify what he meant by “Akhand Bharat” and questioned if India was not already “united”.
He was referring to Mohan Bhagwat’s Wednesday statement in Haridwar that India has to grow big and its rise is incumbent upon the rise of dharma, remarks that were interpreted by some BJP rivals as a pitch for ‘Akhand Bharat’.
Addressing a public meeting at Ratanpur in Dungarpur on the arrival of the Congress party’s ‘Azadi Gaurav Yatra’ participants there, Mr Gehlot also asked Mohan Bhagwat to clarify the role of the RSS after the BJP assumed power.
“You must have read the statement of Mohan Bhagwat ji (that) Akhand Bharat will be made in 15 years. Isn’t it a united India now?” Mr Gehlot asked.
“They should clarify what do they mean by Akhand Bharat? I was reading in newspapers that Pakistan, Afghanistan, PoK, Bhutan, Nepal… don’t know what Mohan Bhagwat ji wants to say,” he added.
The chief minister also said after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had banned the RSS.
“The RSS had apologised then and written that they will never enter politics and it will only hold cultural programmes,” he said and asked, “I want to ask now how much is your contribution as the BJP has come to power?” Mr Gehlot said if the RSS has to do socio-cultural work, it should talk about the eradication of untouchability, the rich and poor divide, social insecurity or come openly into politics.
He also asked why were the RSS people acting covertly.
“They say the people in RSS are socio-cultural workers but they are doing politics,” he alleged.
Mr Gehlot also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over the political crisis that his government faced in 2020 following the rebellion by some Congress MLAs, led by the then Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.
Those who talk of democracy are bringing down the elected governments by horse-trading, he said.
“You toppled the government in Madhya Pradesh by horse-trading of 22 MLAs for Rs 35 crore each. Where is this democracy?” he asked He also asserted that the Congress is not a weak party in the country.
If anyone is challenging Prime Minister Modi in the country, it’s only Rahul Gandhi, he asserted.