With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers are all set to re-create the political wave in favour of BJP similar to the 2014 general elections by ensuring 100% voters turnout. Earlier in 2015, Amit Shah also cautioned the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the Sangh’s highest decision making body that party had secured only 31% votes but they will face a combined opposition in 2019 and need to take their 31% share to 50%.
An annual meet of RSS is underway in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh and is being attended by more than 2000 delegates. “He [Shah] had said that the party will need to improve its vote share to 50% because there are chances that it will have to face a combined Opposition grouping against it in 2019. And that is what is now happening,” said an anonymous source attending the meeting, quoting Shah’s statement made in 2015. Not to forget that the BJP had bagged 31 percent of the total vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and won 282 out of 543 seats.
Earlier, Amit Shah, who reached Gwalior on Saturday, presented the BJP’s annual report at the meeting. There is further speculation that BJP President may hold separate meetings with the top brass of Sangh. The Sangh which normally distances itself from electoral politics has been concerned about voters’ apathy that is reflected by low voter turnout. In the assembly elections in Hindi heartland states like Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last year, the NOTA (none of the above) played an important role in BJP’s defeat. Since then, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has geared up to fight the NOTA campaign. RSS started a door to door campaign to urge people to not vote in the favour of NOTA. Earlier, in October last year Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat stated that NOTA goes against the national interest.
“The Sangh does not want votes to be wasted. It has asked its volunteers to conduct door-to-door campaigns to urge voters to come out and vote and recognize the importance of voting for those who work with the best interests of the country in mind,” said another source.
Yesterday, when a media person asked RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale about the instructions that had been given to the cadre, he said, “Swayamsevaks have been asked to ensure that there should be 100% participation and that the electoral rolls have the names of our families and those around us. And for the government that works in the favour of the country, as the current government is doing, whatever can be done by swayamsevaks in their capacity as citizens will be done”.
Various surveys and reports have claimed that NOTA is merely a ‘way to reject’ with votes going in vain. Considering that NOTA is at best a useless concept and at worst, undermines democracy, there is need for a sustained campaign against this very concept.
RSS’s decision of campaigning against NOTA made the mass aware of the uselessness of it. With the large cadre base that RSS commands, it has the capacity to effectively counter the NOTA propaganda on social media and on the ground as well.