Published On : Sat, Jan 2nd, 2016

RSS ‘holds sway’ in Sai Mandir Trust election

Nagpur: The stage is set for crucial election to Sai Temple Trust. The January 3 (Sunday) election to the Trust, managing the renowned Sai Mandir on Wardha Road, assumes significance as apart from the incumbent trustees the RSS has too threw its hat in the ring, albeit indirectly. According to RSS strategy, a one-sided victory for its panel is a certainty. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has jumped in the fray, indirectly, by pushing ‘Gulab’ Panel, said sources.

According to surces, the Sai Mandir Trust election will see 681 voters exercising their franchise and according to a functionary of RSS panel, around 500 voters would go for it. The ‘Gulab’ Panel is likely to garner 300-400 votes and the RSS is striving to ensure this figure. One of the candidates of ‘Gulab’ Panel is a local Corporator of the Temple area who is supposedly very close to the Chief Minister as well. The candidate is also the Chairman of NMC’s Fire Brigade Department Committee and Chairman of Rajya Kamgar Mahamandal, too. The Corporator Munna Yadav has been nominated to also ensure everything passes off orderly, stated the sources.

Sources further said that the increasing clout of RSS in the Sai Mandir Trust election has forced old trustees spend sleepless nights. The old trustees have fielded their own panel to checkmate the RSS panel. It is further learnt that the former minister in state and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil held talks with a senior BJP leader and ‘Gulab’ Panel leaders for making his two close aides as trustees. But the RSS reportedly played its cards and watered down the expectations of Vikhe-Patil. The senior Congress leader is Sai Baba devout and begins his day with ‘Darshan’ first.

It is learnt that the Chief Minister too was flooded with recommendations for several candidates but could not be of any use. The names were recommended to ensure that the temple is free of RSS interference. However, it is reliably learnt that RSS has jumped in the fray to curb reported ‘malpractices’ in running of temple affairs.

Notably, as the election to Sai Mandir Trust drew closer and closer, the RSS and BJP in an intense campaign, indirectly, enrolled thousands of new members. However, later the matter ‘Who will vote’ went to courts . The court directed that only old members alone could participate in the election process thereby barring the new members from participating in the election process this time.

Now, the old members will only exercise voting from 3 pm to 4 pm at a specially erected poll booth in the office of Charity Commissioner in Civil Lines.