The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Monday dismissed as 'unnecessary' the row over its chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on quota and asserted that he merely highlighted the importance of resolving all issues in society through cordial dialogue while asking everyone to exchange views on a sensitive issue like reservation.
RSS' 'prachar pramukh' (publicity head) Arun Kumar said in a tweet that his organisation has spelled out its stand on reservation many times that it completely stands for reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and the economically backward.
"Attempts are being made to create unnecessary controversy over some remarks made by Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat ji in his speech at a programme in Delhi," Kumar said.
Bhagwat highlighted the importance of resolving all issues in the society through cordial dialogue and had called upon everyone to exchange views on a sensitive issue like reservation, he added.
"As far as RSS is concerned, it has spelled its stand many times that it completely stands for reservation to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and economically backward," Kumar said.
Bhagwat told an event in Delhi on Sunday that there should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it.
Those who favour reservation should speak keeping in mind the interests of those who are against it, and similarly those who oppose it should do the vice-versa, he said.
Opposition parties like the Congress and the BSP used it to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ideological fountainhead RSS.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Bhagwat's remarks had exposed 'anti Dalit-backward' face of the RSS-BJP.
The RSS chief had in 2015 suggested a review of reservation, triggering a massive political row in the the run-up to the Bihar assembly polls.
Since then the Hindutva organisation has stated time and again that it supports the existing quota.
Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders Pawan Khera, P L Punia and Udit Raj said the BJP and RSS are seeking to make attempts to change the Constitution and have developed a habit of raking up controversies to divert the public attention from real issues and their own 'failures'.
"Bhagwat's statement is condemnable and shows the BJP mindset which is 'anti-Dalit and anti-OBC'. The statement is part of a pre-conceived conspiracy to end reservation," said Punia.
"The BJP and the RSS are making continuous attempts to change the Constitution," he alleged.
"It has become a habit with the BJP and its ideological masters -- the RSS -- to keep raking up issues and creating conflict in the society about issues on which opinions are sharply divided, issues that can divert the attention of the voter of the people from the day-to-day problems that they are facing under this Government," Khera alleged.
"What we are trying to expose before you, is the design behind all these comments or these decisions or the narrative triggered by this Government and its ideological masters," he added.
Udit Raj alleged that the RSS had earlier challenged the intellectual capacities of the framers of the Constitution.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also tweeted, "Attack on the rights of the poor, trampling on constitutional rights, snatching the rights of Dalits-backwards. This is the real BJP agenda."
'The anti Dalit-backward face of the RSS-BJP has been exposed. The conspiracy to end reservation for the poor and the policy of changing the Constitution have been uncovered,' he said in a series of tweets in Hindi.
Punia said Bhagwat's comments asking for a debate on reservation are 'very serious'.
He said the RSS is a political organisation, but it claims itself to be a social organisation.