Mumbai, Dec. 27: The khaki-white chastity of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh came under threat today with Sanjay Joshi, a senior functionary, getting sucked into a sex scandal.
Joshi, on deputation to the BJP where he is a general secretary, resigned from the party as well as the Sangh after the emergence of a CD purportedly showing him having sex with a woman.
Pracharaks ' and Joshi is one ' cannot marry, let alone have sex outside matrimony. But they can always seek the Sangh’s permission and start a family, as L.K. Advani, for instance, has done, though they have to surrender the title of pracharak.
A collection of celibate men, the Sangh was left red-faced by the scandal. The embarrassment is all the more as it had reacted with indignation to the two recent scams in which BJP members were involved.
The scandal struck the organisation when it was preaching “chal, chehra aur charitra (morality and individual character)” to the BJP during its silver jubilee celebrations.
Joshi, who was in charge of organisational matters in the BJP, was immediately recalled to Nagpur. He put in his papers before rushing off to the Sangh headquarters.
“In recent days, it came to our notice that a sustained campaign was being carried out to defame our general secretary, Shri Sanjaybhai Joshi. Unsigned letters were circulated followed by an audiotape. Sanjaybhai sent the tape for verification to a forensic laboratory and it was proved to be false,” said M. Venkaiah Naidu, BJP leader.
“Subsequently, some CDs were circulated amongst the BJP leaders. Sanjaybhai has lodged an FIR in Bhopal from where the CDs were reportedly sent. The Bhopal address has been found to be false. He came here yesterday.
“He met party president L.K. Advani today and told him that this was a move to defame the party. In such circumstances, he said, he did not want to continue with his present assignment. The president has accepted his resignation with a heavy heart,” Naidu said.
He added that Joshi had also resigned from the Sangh.
Bhopal superintendent of police A.K. Singh, however, told PTI he had no knowledge of a complaint.
Sangh spokesman Ram Madhav said: “The entire incident is sad and it is nothing more than a conspiracy hatched to malign Joshi.”
The CD started circulating among delegates to the national executive since late last night. Sources said the CDs were originally sent to Sangh head K.S. Sudarshan, his deputy Mohan Bhagwat, Advani and all the BJP general secretaries on December 16.
A Sangh source said “while the woman’s face remains blurred, the man can be easily recognised” in the “explicit” one-and-a-half-hour CD.
The CD was “scrutinised” by the Sangh and senior BJP leaders. The scandal led to the national executive meeting being wound up much earlier than expected.
“It is shameful. I don’t know when we will recover from this,” said a delegate.
Joshi had made an enemy in Uma Bharti who accused him of stopping her return to Madhya Pradesh as chief minister. One day she entered his office and let fly, even tearing off the phone line.
A whisper campaign had started against Joshi a few months ago. Letters from an anonymous woman claiming to have been raped by him were circulated in the media.