Even as unease continues between the two NDA partners—the BJP and JD-U, a highly confidential letter by the Nitish Kumar government seeking details of activities of the RSS and its 18 affiliates triggered a political storm in Bihar on Wednesday with the BJP leaders hitting out at the chief minister for this “espionage” move. But what is interesting is the timing of the leaking of the letter in the media as it comes at a time when both the partners have been expressing divergent views in public and look like slowly moving in different directions.
The letter, which was issued by the Bihar Police Special Branch, the intelligence wing of the state police which briefs the chief minister, asked the officials to gather details about the office-bearers of the RSS and its allied organizations and submit the details within a week. Strangely, the missive was issued just two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to take oath for the second time and the JD-U was not given due representation in the government. It is worth mentioning that the Bihar chief minister, who heads the JD-U, also remains the in charge of the home portfolio.
“The move of the Nitish Kumar government to seek details about the RSS and its affiliates is highly objectionable. What does the government want to know about the RSS? The party leadership should take a serious note of this,” BJP legislator and former Union minister Sanjay Paswan demanded on Wednesday. Another party lawmaker, Sanjay Mayukh, even raised the issue in the Legislative Council and sought a reply from the government.
But possibly the hardest statement came from Santosh Ranjan Rai, national vice-president of party’s youth wing, who suggested the chief minister to focus on generating employment opportunities rather than investigating against the RSS. “How dirty politics you have suddenly got involved in Nitish Kumarji? Have your all ideas run short?” asked Rai, suggesting him to take cognizance of floods, the soaring crime graph and unemployment. He also warned that such act of the Bihar government was not good either for the ruling alliance, JD-U or Bihar and urged the central leadership to take a decision on the matter soon.
The JD-U, however, downplayed the issues describing it as a routine affair. “We have no problem from the RSS,” state JD-U president Vashishtha Narayan Singh said.
Surprisingly, the RSS has increased its activities in Bihar right since Kumar came to power in the state.