The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drive against Sangh shadow
- Meet asks PM to cleanse govt

New Delhi, Aug. 8: A gathering of Congress and Left leaders today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take “definitive action” to rid the administration of people owing allegiance to the Sangh parivar.

“Our first duty is that the fascist forces of the RSS should be detected. Today, government administration is in the grip of the RSS, we have to cleanse it,” Arjun Singh, the human resource development minister, told a national convention on secularism.

Singh has led a process of identifying and weeding out what he considers to be Sangh supporters from institutions under the ministry he heads.

Chaired by information and broadcasting minister S. Jaipal Reddy, the convention adopted a resolution that contains the appeal to the Prime Minister and drew up an action plan for the government so that the “secular neutrality of the state is restored after six years of distortion at the hands of the BJP-led NDA government”.

Some leaders like R.K. Anand of the Congress even demanded reimposition of the ban on the RSS.

The convention, organised by the former chairman of the AICC freedom fighters’ cell, Shashi Bhushan, assumes significance as it was held only a fortnight before a scheduled session of the AICC, the first after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance came to power in mid-May.

Singh, who shares with the Left the desire to confront the Sangh, is heading the Congress panel that is preparing the draft political resolution for the AICC session. With the endorsement of the Left, he wants the government to take a hard line on cleansing the administration of Sangh enthusiasts.

Taking off from the preamble to the ruling alliance’s common minimum programme where there is a commitment to deal with “all obscurantist and fundamentalist elements” in an uncompromising manner, Singh said people sympathising with the Sangh were placed by the previous Vajpayee government in key administrative positions.

He alleged that the NDA had given a free run to Sangh supporters in government, allowing them to raise money, and suggested that these aspects should be probed.

Backing the demand for probe, party colleague Anand alleged that the Sangh had collected huge sums of money abroad.

“Not one but there are hundred different fronts of the RSS. They are getting crores of rupees. The previous government allowed foreign money to come in but now this web has to be broken. People should know for what purpose the money was used,” Singh said.

CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan patted Singh on the back for ridding institutions under his ministry of Sangh supporters. Bardhan said the government should get bolder and remove all remaining Sangh sympathisers from Raj Bhavans.

“Raj hamara, governor tumhara. How long will this last'” he asked.

The government has already dismissed some governors, a move that drew strong opposition from the BJP.

Bardhan and Nilotpal Basu, the CPM leader in the Rajya Sabha, said the Sangh had infiltrated the bureaucracy, research institutions, autonomous bodies and independent commissions. Their masters might be out of office after the poll defeat, but the infiltrators would have to be identified and winkled out, the Left leaders said.

Taking the attack on the Sangh to the ideological plane, Jaipal challenged its ideologues to cite a single instance of a society in the world that was ethnically and culturally homogeneous. He said the defeat of the BJP constitutes a silent revolution, but the real battle will have to be fought against the Sangh as the party is only an “illusion” whereas the Sangh is the “reality.”

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