NEW DELHI: If the NDA Government had rather troubled relations with the Sangh-affiliated bodies over its economic policies during its last stint at the Centre, the current dispensation is treading cautiously as not to antagonise its ideological mentor.
In the first such meeting since the formation of Narendra Modi Government, five Union ministers on Tuesday spent over four hours listening to representatives of the seven RSS-affiliated bodies.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and MoS for Agriculture Sanjeev Baliyan met the RSS leaders and discussed with them issues related to FDI, Genetically Modified crops, retail trade, rights of aganwadi workers, farmers and IPR.
The ministers addressed the queries they posed and offered to allay their fears on certain policies. Among the Sangh leaders, who were present, were Suresh Soni, Krishan Gopal, Ram Lal and Ram Madhav.
According to sources, such a coordination meeting was called as there were apprehensions in certain Sangh quarters that the BJP Government was straying from its charted course on the economic policies.
During its recent meeting on FDI in Jaipur, the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Sangh’s economic wing, had gone public with its apprehensions over Modi’s “Make in India” programme.
The body had said the country should encourage “Made in India”, rather than inviting foreign companies to set up factories here.
The BJP Government seemingly wanted to avoid such public pronouncements and listen to the grievances of the Sangh bodies, which were working on the ground, and had actively helped the party to win elections.
“It was not a meeting with a set agenda. There were no demands, but only exchange of views,” said a source, who attended the meeting.
The seven Sangh bodies, which participated in the deliberations, were the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, the Lagu Udyog Bharati, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh and the Sahakar Bharati.
At the meeting, the Sangh outfits voiced their opinion on a host of issues, while the ministers took notes.
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has raised the issue of regularising the services of contract workers and anganwadi workers, while the Kisan Sangh took up the issues faced by the sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh.