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Saffronisation of the Cabinet: Modi brings in RSS men into his council of ministers

Nishant Saxena | Updated on: 6 July 2016, 18:53 IST

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's influence on the present Union government is very evident now, especially after the Cabinet reshuffle that took place on 5 July, 2016.

The three main ministries - HRD, I&B and Culture - have been on the RSS' high-priority list and on all three are now manned by its party men.

The new HRD minister, Prakash Javadekar, has been a close follower of RSS and was also a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of BJP.

Vankiah Naidu, the new I&B minister has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since his childhood. He also started his political career as an ABVP student leader in 1973-74 after being elected the president of the students' union of Andhra University.

The culture ministry was already being held by a RSS man, Mahesh Sharma.

According to reports, BJP president Amit Shah had visited the RSS office in Delhi to seek its approval on the new Cabinet list. Clearly, BJP is bound to appease RSS as the party will need its volunteers for campaigning on ground during the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls.

Faggan Singh Kulaste, Vijay Goel, Anil Madhav Dave and Mahendra Nath Pandey - all newly inducted ministers in the Cabinet - are also known to have close links with the RSS. In fact, Goel was a member of the organisation during the Emergency when he was jailed. As an ABVP candidate, he was president of Delhi University Students' Union in 1977.

While Kulaste, now the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, reportedly opposed reservation for tribals who had converted to Christianity, Pandey - the BJP's Brahmin face in UP - joined the RSS when he was eight, as a 'Bal Swayamsevak' in 1961.

First published: 6 July 2016, 18:53 IST