Nagpur: BJP national president Amit Shah arrived in Nagpur today morning on Saturday to meet the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.He was accompanied by Nagpur MP and Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari at the airport along with host of BJP leaders and workers of the city were present in large number to welcome Shah.
Earlier, Bhagwat had met senior BJP leader and the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Nagpur on Thursday. RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi too was present at the meeting.
In a meeting that lasted for two hours in Nagpur, where the RSS has its headquarters, the organisation’s chief Mohan Bhagwat categorically told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that the government’s decision was simply unacceptable to the Sangh, according to highly placed officials.
Though the Union Home Minister declined to respond to reporters’ queries on what transpired at the closed door meeting with Bhagwat, officials said the government’s land bill also figured in the interaction.
The RSS’s response came two days after the government released its consolidated Foreign Direct Investment policy on Tuesday, allowing foreign retail chains to open supermarkets in India. The decision is a clear departure from the stated position of the BJP, which had declared in its manifesto for last year’s Lok Sabha elections that “barring the multi-brand retail sector, FDI will be allowed in sectors wherever needed for job and asset creation, infrastructure and acquisition of niche technology and specialized expertise”.
The RSS has consistently maintained that the country should not open its doors to FDI in the retail sector. It was this opposition to the United Progressive Alliance government’s policy on multi-brand retail that had led the BJP to make this issue an important part of its Lok Sabha election campaign.
The RSS continued to emphasise its opposition to the FDI in multi-brand retail even after the BJP formed the government at the Centre. FDI in retail “is not acceptable to us at any cost”, RSS chief Bhagwat declared at the Sangh’s Yuva Sankalp Shivir at Agra in November. “Such a decision would not only affect our internal business but also pose a major threat to our economy.”
Thursday’s meeting at the RSS headquarters is significant not just because Bhagwat has struck at a major decision of the government, but also because the Sangh chief chose Rajnath Singh to convey his displeasure to the ruling party.
According to a senior RSS official, Singh, who has always been in the good books of the RSS, has become even more trustworthy for the Sangh ever since the latter started developing reservations with regard to the functioning of the government and the BJP.
Singh, however, is reported to have maintained a tense silence as he came out of the meeting with Bhagwat at Nagpur. When asked repeatedly by reporters on the topics that figured during his discussion with the RSS chief, Singh’s curt response was. “Our bonding will continue.”
RSS sources said Shah would be at the RSS headquarters till 5 PM when he would leave for Delhi.