Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Monday withdrew two orders, issued in 1967 and 1980, that restrained its employees from taking part in the activities of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), prompting a strong reaction from the Congress which asked if the Khattar dispensation was running a “BJP-RSS Pathshala”.
“With the coming into effect of the Haryana Civil Services (Government Employees’ Conduct) Rules, 2016, government instructions dated 2.4.1980 and dated 11.1.1967 are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect as they are no longer relevant,” the general administration department said in an order issued on Monday. With the decision, now Haryana government employees can take part in RSS activities.
The order prompted a strong reaction from the Congress party. “Now, Haryana employees are free to take part in activities of the Sangh (RSS),” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted, tagging the order issued by the general administration department.
Attacking the government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who has been an RSS pracharak, Surjewala further asked “are they running a government or a BJP-RSS Pathshala”.
In April 1980, instructions issued by the then general administration department of the Haryana’s chief secretary’s office restrained the state government employees from any association with RSS activities.
Before that in January 1967, the political and services branch of the chief secretary’s office in Haryana had issued an instruction saying that participation in RSS activities by government employees would invite action under the service rules. The Monday communications nullified these two orders.
Khattar became the chief minister in 2014 when the BJP, for the first time, formed a government of its own strength in Haryana. The instructions restraining government employees from taking part in RSS activities had remained in force until now.