Changes in RSS top brass as Hosabale elected gen secy, Ram Madhav returns

Dattatreya Hosabale (@friendsofrss)

Sticking to its view that people should demit public office before turning 75, the RSS Saturday ushered in top organisational changes, electing Dattatreya Hosabale its new general secretary, appointing two joint general secretaries and also bringing BJP leader Ram Madhav back into its fold.

Hosabale, who was the Sah-Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary) of the Sangh since 2009, was elected the Sarkaryavah (General Secretary) at a two-day annual meeting of the Sangh's highest decision-making body Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) which began at Bengaluru on Friday.

As RSS' Sarkaryavah, the 65-year-old Hosabale will now be its executive head and the de-facto number two in the organisation.

Ram Madhav has been made a member of the RSS national executive, with sources saying he is likely to be given an additional responsibility later on.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also elevated its publicity in-charge Arun Kumar as its joint-general secretary alongside Ram Dutt Chakradhar, who was heading the Sangh's Bihar unit.

The ABPS meets every year, but the election is held at every third year in its meeting which usually takes place in Nagpur.

Both Arun Kumar and Chakradhar, who are in their early 60s, have replaced Suresh Soni and V Bhagaiah, who like Joshi, had crossed 70 years of age.

Similarly, Sangh effected changes in its Sampark Pramukh (in-charge of outreach department), replacing Anirudh Deshpandae with Ram Lal, who was joint incharge in the same arm of the Sangh and had also held the post of BJP's organisational secretary.

With elevation of Kumar as joint general secretary, the current joint-incharge of publicity Sunil Ambekar, and Alok Kumar, who was looking after Sangh's work in Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, has been made joint incharge of publicity department.

Sources in the Sangh said the RSS has brought these changes in the organisation in accordance with its stated view, expressed by its former chief the late Sudershan for BJP leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani that people should retire before turning 75.

The RSS brought back Ram Madhav in its fold, who was loaned to BJP in 2014 and was made the party's general secretary.

All these changes in top brass of Sangh assume significance as the RSS is completing its 100 years in 2024 and the general elections for Lok Sabha will also be held in the same year.

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