RSS wants to harness ABVP talent in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

New Delhi: The RSS plans to expand its student wing — Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad — in the ensuing academic session, with a goal to induct 10 to 15 per cent of its enterprising cadres as BJP candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The plan involves harnessing young blood of the ABVP to play a key role in the BJP poll campaign. As a prelude to the exercise, the RSS is replacing Sunil Ambekar, the national organising general secretary of the ABVP who turns 50 on December 26, with Ramlal, the BJP’s organising general secretary. Both are RSS ‘pracharaks’ (full-time volunteers).

The change will come next march after Dattatreya Hosbole, one of the three joint general secretaries and RSS coordinator with the BJP, takes over as the general secretary (Sar-karyavah), the second-in-command in the RSS after its chief Mohan Bhagwat, and constitutes his own team, including those to man various RSS outfits.

Hosbole will be taking over in the next Pratinidhi Sabha of the RSS in February from Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi, who is holding the post for the past nine years.  Though Hosbole was tipped to be the No 2 in the RSS in March 2015, Bhagwat preferred to let Joshi have the run for another three years.

Worried over the BJP’s numbers slipping in Gujarat Assembly elections, though the final tally was better than its own internal assessment of it stopping at 70 to 75 seats, the RSS wants to involve the ABVP cadres in a big way in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh late next year. If the BJP loses in these states, the party may find it difficult to secure majority in the Lok Sabha, as mere charisma of Prime Minister Modi will not work, a top RSS functionary said.

He said there is not much worry as regards Uttar Pradesh where the party had bagged 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats and 325 Assembly seats. The RSS is also confident that the BJP will win all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat.

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