RSS wants government to focus on temple, farmers and other core issues

RSS wants government to focus on temple, farmers and other core issues

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau27/12/2018 10:02

As BJP prepares for the 2019 general elections, the feedback from the RSS is to revisit the policies to make them more beneficial for those with fewer resources and more attractive for the middle class.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and its affiliates have some feedback for the party after its recent defeat in three key Hindi heartland states and ahead of next years parliamentary election: that it focus on policies to better the lot of the middle class, farmers, labourers and small entrepreneurs. They also want the party to fulfil the promise of constructing a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

The affiliates, which work in niche sectors and take up the issues related to labour, farming, economy and education have , in the last four and half years, disagreed with the government over several key policy decisions such as the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and demonestisation. They have also underlined gaps in implementation of policies framed on the axiom of sabka saath sabka vikas (collective efforts, inclusive growth).

A year after the government’s big ticket economic reform, demonetisation was denounced by the Sangh and its affiliates for hurting small and medium businesses; RSS chief Mohan Bhagat suggested drafting a holistic policy to “address the needs of industry, trade, agriculture and environment together”. Such a policy, he said would “safeguard the interests of all from big, medium and small industries, to small retailers, farmers and landless labours.”

Now, as the party prepares for the 2019 general elections, and in the wake of the BJP’s performance in recent state elections, the feedback from the Sangh is to revisit the policies to make them more beneficial for those with fewer resources and more attractive for the middle class.

 Then there’s the temple.

One RSS affiliate, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said the BJP will lose support if it does not meet its 2014 poll manifesto promise of building the Ram Temple.

But much of the feedback is about the economy, and agriculture.

 For instance, the Laghu Udyog Bharti, which claims to have 25,000 members and is a registered all India organisation of Micro and Small Industries, has sought sops to help them recover from the losses they suffered during demonetisation.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union for instance is unhappy with the allocation and attention to farming. It believes that while the government has made announcements on raising procurement prices of grains, and the strengthening of market infrastructure through e-markets, there are hiccups in the implementation on the ground. It would also like to see more emphasis on organic farming.

“There seems to be a race for announcing farm loan waivers, even though it does not take away the problems of farmers. They need good quality seeds and organic fertilizers, they need power and water and fair price for their produce. Instead of forcing farmers to use expensive GM seeds that can be used once, there should be focus on organic and sustainable farming,” said a functionary of the BKS who asked not to be identified.

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch wants more protection for indigenous businesses, especially small businesses.

“There is a need to check the regulators such as the Reserve Bank of India and the Food Safety and Standards Authority…They have to ensure home-grown banks and companies are not hurt by the entry of foreign players,” a SJM functionary said.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the labour arm of the Sangh wants the government to announce a wage code and social security nets . It also wants laws to protect workers, even those who are on contract or are part of the temporary workforce.

“The government has been receptive to our demands. It agreed to our demands to increase the remuneration of Asha and Anganwadi workers, but issues such as equal pay for equal work, and social security for contractual workers are still pending,” a BMS functionary said, asking not to be identified.

At a broader level, a senior RSS said on condition of anonymity, there is unrest among several sections over their financial status. This includes the middle class which is worried about “increasing prices and low returns on savings”.

Nor are the poor satisfied, this person added.

“Programmes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Ujjawala and Ayushman Bharat have been drafted to help those who are at the bottom of the economic structure, but there are several gaps in implementation.”

A recurrent complaint from the affiliates, the RSS functionary said, pertained to the bureaucracy.


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