Sangh ‘factory’ fear as UP plans school for politicians

Party that believes in the divisive RSS ideology and promotes cow vigilantism and the suppression of Dalits cannot be honest, says Congress

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 11.10.18, 3:37 AM
  • Updated 11.10.18, 11:34 AM
  • 2 mins read
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The Yogi Adityanath government had sanctioned Rs 298 crore for the first phase of the construction of the institute. The Telegraph file picture

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday cleared the establishment of a training institute for would-be politicians in Ghaziabad, prompting Opposition fears that it was a move to “manufacture RSS cadres” at the government’s expense.

“Preparing to produce the best politicians in the country, we are in touch with some international universities for affiliation,” said Suresh Khanna, minister for urban development, under which the institute will function. “We will also take the support of some very good national universities in shaping our proposed political institute.”

Khanna told reporters in Lucknow that the Yogi Adityanath government had sanctioned Rs 298 crore for the first phase of construction, adding that the institute would be completed within two years.

“We decided to open it in Ghaziabad, in the neighbourhood of Delhi, so that visiting international leaders can be invited to deliver lectures. Those who study in this institute will become successful leaders of the future,” said the minister, deputed from the RSS to the BJP two decades ago.

Khanna said the country had several other institutes that imparted some sort of political training but claimed the proposed one in Ghaziabad would be unique and the biggest of its kind.

He said those interested in joining politics should also know its ins and outs. “This institute will impart knowledge of the Constitution of India, and various rules and regulations,” he said.

“Students of politics need to understand the language of GOs (government orders) and learn about the problems politicians face in the field.”

State Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi feared the idea was to “manufacture RSS cadres at a government institute” and teach them how to “grab students’ unions by hook or by crook”.

“The Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Youth Development in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, and the Indian Institute of Democratic Leadership in Thane, Maharashtra, are already running courses for those interested in political training,” he said.

“The students’ unions at our universities too are very good practical training centres for upcoming leaders. But BJP governments have been playing all kinds of tricks to grab students’ unions by hook or by crook. We have seen this during the recent Allahabad University elections.”

Alleged members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the RSS student arm, had set fire to the hostel rooms of some victorious rivals after Saturday’s Allahabad University student elections.

“A party that believes in the divisive ideology of the RSS and promotes cow vigilantism, the thrashing of lovers and the suppression of Dalits and minority communities cannot be honest in opening or running a training institute for politicians,” Tripathi said.

“We wish that wisdom prevails and they don’t plan to manufacture RSS cadres in a government institute.”

The Rajiv Gandhi Institute’s objectives include “training youth as a facilitator of youth development activities in rural, urban as also tribal areas”, while the Thane institute aims to teach a sort of “applied political science with an element of good public administration”.