Mumbai: As India prepares for the 18th general elections in 2024, Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh chief Dr Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday warned about the attempts that are being made to garner votes by inflaming emotions as he addressed the Vijaya Dashami rally.
“The country is going to hold elections to the Lok Sabha in the early days of 2024. Attempts to harvest votes by inflaming emotions are not desirable, but they still keep happening. Let us avoid these things, as they hurt the unity of the society,” he said.
“To cast vote is the duty of every citizen, and we must follow it. Cast your vote keeping in mind the vital issues of unity, integrity, identity and development of the country,” Dr Bhagwat said addressing the Vijaya Dashami rally of the RSS in its headquarters in Nagpur.
Dr Bhagwat also spoke on the burning Manipur issue. “Manipur, which had been peaceful for almost a decade has suddenly seen mutual discord and conflict. Who has a vested interest in trying to disturb the atmosphere? Which are the forces that are attempting to trigger hatred and violence by causing an incident as soon as any positive step is taken for peace,” he said.
“It’s the Sangh’s endeavour to keep everyone safe, organised, harmonious and peaceful by accepting everyone as its own, even if it entails great sacrifices. We are proud of our swayamsevaks and activists, who made tremendous efforts in a calm and composed manner to help and take care of everyone in this terrible and disturbing situation in Manipur,” he added.
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis – were among those in the audience.
The chief guest of the Vijaya Dashami festivities was singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan.
“We should deepen our relationships with nature by saving water, avoid single use plastic, and increase greenery in and around our homes. Let’s strengthen our reliance on ‘Swa’, or self, through Swadeshi. Wasteful expenditure ought to stop, too. Employment opportunities in the country should rise, and the country’s money (capital) should be used within, and in the interest of the country itself,” he added.
“Law and order, and responsibilities as a citizen, should be followed by all. A climate of harmony and cooperation should prevail in society. Everybody expects these five behavioural elements to materialise,” said the RSS chief.
On the issue of the country’s northern borders, he said: “We need to consider the Himalayan region in totality by considering this region as a single unit from the standpoints of security, environment, demography and development”.
(Published 24 October 2023, 05:39 IST)