Does RSS intervene in government matters?

Prateek Goyal
Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Rajya Sabha TV CEO's post on RSS backing. COO of news channel writes to Bhagwat, says VP, Prasar Bharati head sought RSS recommendation

Pune: After the administration of state-owned channel Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) came into the hands of former BJP minister and current Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, it seems recommendations from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for influential posts is becoming a norm.

The latest example of this is a letter written by Nandan Jha, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of News World India, a news channel, to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, which states that Naidu, the current chairman of RSTV, and A Suryaprakash, chairperson of Prasar Bharati, have assured Jha of his own selection as CEO, provided that his name is recommended by the RSS. The letter also mentions the recommendation of his name by senior RSS leaders from Maharashtra to a senior RSS functionary in Delhi.

Sakal Times has in its possession the mail, which was provided by Delhi-based Pankaj Shrivastav of Media Vigil. The mail was written by Jha on September 20 and received by Vikas Telang, who has replied to Jha from the address of hedgewarbhavan@rediffmail.com

Telang, a full-time RSS worker and office secretary of Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, replied to the mail stating, “Received your mail, printout will be given to Man. Mohanji.”

When Jha was contacted, he said, “This is totally baseless, I have not written any such letter, someone else is defaming me. Soon, I will file an FIR in this regard with the Delhi police’s Cyber Crime Cell.”

When Sakal Times contacted Vipin Kumar, senior RSS leader in Mumbai, he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I don’t want to comment anything in this regard.”

A top RSS leader and Akhil Bhartiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS Manmohan Vaidya, on being questioned, acknowledged receiving of the letter by the RSS. 

WHAT THE LETTER SAYS
- According to Jha’s letter available with Sakal Times, he states that a month ago, senior RSS leaders from Maharashtra Vijay Rao (Kshetra Pracharak, Maharashtra and Gujarat) and Vipin Kumar (Sah Prant pracharak, Mumbai) visited him in Delhi and discussed about his appointment as CEO of RSTV.
- Both have assured him that they will recommend his name to Krishna Gopal, senior RSS leader and Joint General Secretary (Sah Sarkaryawah) of RSS. 
- Despite repeated recommendations from both, Krishan Gopal told them that Jha is a confidante of Naveen Jindal as he is CEO of News World India.
- Jha states in his letter that Gopal’s statement has hurt him as he is a devoted RSS worker. He states, “I am a devoted RSS worker and in my capacity as a COO of News World India did my best to conduct the maximum interviews of RSS and BJP leaders. But now I want to get back to my roots and have applied for the post of CEO of Rajya Sabha TV so that I can work for the correct hierarchy between RSS and government.”
- Jha also stated, “If given the post of CEO of Rajya Sabha TV, I assure you that I will work in best of my capacity for the mission of nation building started by RSS and will do service to the nation.”

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