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Ousted RSS Goa Head Blames Gadkari, Parrikar; Forms New State Unit

Panaji: The ousted chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) Goa unit, Subhash Welingkar, formed a new state unit on Thursday. The move came a day after he was unceremoniously sacked, followed by resignations of 400 RSS volunteers.

The new establishment appointed all the 400 members who resigned from the unit, including district, sub district and shakha heads.

The mass resignations following a marathon six-hour meeting held at a school complex near Panaji, in which over 100 local RSS members and office bearers accused Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP top brass — including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar — of conspiring to sack Welingkar, one of the most influential RSS leaders in the state.

Welingkar, who also heads a regional language front Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), has been critical of the state government’s medium of instruction policy in primary schools, which he claims promotes English over regional languages like Konkani and Marathi.

Action against Velingkar’s came after he crossed swords with the BJP government over the medium of instruction issue with members of his outfit even showing black flags to party chief Amit Shah.

I was not shocked. I was anticipating it (the ouster). (Manohar) Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari are powerful at the Centre. They have (been) strongly lobbying there. They must have tried for it. They must have wrongly fed the RSS high command. Yesterday (Wednesday) there was a meeting of RSS workers. A total of 600 people were present there. All the workers have resigned from their posts. Now we have no links with Konkan unit,  Subhash Welingkar, Ousted RSS Goa Chief.

Welingkar announced that he is forming a new unit for the state, which won’t be a part of the regional unit of Konkan that exists currently.

After the upcoming Assembly elections, the unit will ask the headquarter in Nashik to recognise it as an official shakha.

We are not banking on them (the main RSS), we have detached Goa unit from Konkan prant (region). We will remain as RSS, we will be RSS Goa. We will continue as RSS. We will reinstate the people (officials on their posts). We will continue respecting the Sarsanghchalak. We will continue this arrangement till (Assembly) elections and after that we will request them (main unit) to get us affiliated directly. Subhash Welingkar, Ousted RSS Goa Chief.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, which was also attended by the office bearers of the Sangh’s Konkan region, Ramdas Saraf, south district pramukh of the RSS said:

All office bearers from the district units, sub district units and shakhas along with hundreds of others have decided quit from the RSS, until Welingkar Sir is reinstated. We will not work for RSS until the decision to strip him as Goa Vibhag Sangh Chalak is revoked.

In the recent past, Welingkar had also accused successive BJP-led coalition governments in Goa under Manohar Parrikar and Laxmikant Parsekar of “cheating” people on the issue of the medium of instruction.

 On Monday, Welingkar had also warned that the BJP may lose the upcoming assembly elections because of this, and had participated in a protest, which showed black flags to BJP President Amit Shah during his visit to the state on 20 August.

As BBSM convener, Welingkar has also threatened to mentor another political party, with the specific purpose to defeat the BJP in the upcoming elections because of the latter’s lack of support to regional languages.

Veteran state RSS leader Jayant Lele, who was also present at the meeting, said at the BJP should stop dictating terms to the RSS in Goa and that such attempts will not be tolerated.

“RSS is a parent body. Goa BJP cannot dictate terms to the RSS,” even as RSS volunteers cried ‘Shame, Shame’ in the background.

(With inputs from IANS.)