The Congress on September 28 urged President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to ask the Madhya Pradesh Government to withdraw an order that would allow State officials to take part in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s shakhas.
A delegation handed over to Mr. Kalam a letter written by party president Sonia Gandhi, expressing the party’s “deepest concern” over the August 27 State Government order that removed the ban.
“We firmly believe the order is illegal and violates both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. I am informed that the Governor was kept completely in the dark by the State Government while it took this policy decision that has far-reaching implications and repercussions,” Ms. Gandhi said.
In January 2000, when the Gujarat Government issued a similar order, she wrote to then President K.R. Narayanan. After he took it up with the State Government, it was persuaded to withdraw its order.
“I am sure you will agree with me that it is of the utmost importance to maintain social cohesion and communal harmony in our diverse society at all times. To allow government employees to participate in the activities of an organisation that has had a long period of stoking religious prejudices, inflaming religious passions and polarising our society is a dangerous move, and will not be in the national interest. It is also a move that goes against the principles of our administrative machinery being independent and unbiased,” Ms. Gandhi said.