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Bihar politics heats up as RSS chief’s visit opposed

The opposition is angry at the way many parts of the state were in the grip of communal tension in March shortly after Mohan Bhagwat’s 10-day stay

Image Credit: PTI
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
Gulf News

Patna: The visit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, to Bihar has heated up state politics. The opposition camp is charging the chief minister with allowing the RSS chief to stir “communalism” and “disturb communal harmony”. Bhagwat arrived on three-day visit to Bihar on Tuesday — his fourth in the past one year.

Many parts of the state witnessed communal tension for about a fortnight in March this year shortly after Bhagwat left Bihar after his 10-day stay. Around a dozen districts reeled from communal tension, the worst being Aurangabad, Bhagalpur, Nawada and Samastipur as the opposition blamed the RSS hand behind it.

Bhagwat is scheduled to visit Nawada and address an educational training session of RSS workers there, media reports said. Nawada is the parliamentary constituency of federal minister and firebrand BJP leader Giriraj Singh and is one of the many districts that witnessed bitter communal violence in March.

“It was not very long ago when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had advocated for making India free from RSS, but now see the contrast. How the same man has rolled out red carpet to welcome RSS chief,” Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) spokesperson Ejya Yadav told the media on Tuesday. The RJD is the main opposition party in Bihar.

Another senior RJD leader and party vice-president Shivanand Tiwari, too, launched criticised Nitish Kumar for allowing Bhagwat’s visit. “What are, after all, the compulsions for Nitish Kumar for sacrificing his secular principles more often than not? Till yesterday, he was boasting about his secular credentials; but today he is promoting communalism,” Tiwari said. “It is shocking to see Kumar keeping quiet even as the state is under the seize of communal politics being practised by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi,” Tiwari said.

The Congress also hit out at the chief minister. “Considering the communal tension and clashes that occurred in the state two months ago, the chief minister should be vigilant about Mohan Bhagwat’s frequent visits to Bihar. We demand a ban on his entry into the state,” said Congress spokesperson and lawmaker Prem Chandra Mishra.

Federal minister Giriraj Singh, however, dared the opposition to ban entry of RSS chief to Bihar. “RSS is India’s cultural heritage and none has the guts to ban Bhagwat’s entry to Bihar,” Singh, who holds the portfolio of micro, small and medium enterprises, said. He alleged only the “merchants of votes” were opposing the RSS chief’s visit to the state.

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