Sudarshan announces retirement, Mohan Bhagwat new RSS chief
NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Swayayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief KS Sudarshan on Saturday announced his retirement citing health reasons, paving way for
A file photograph of Mohan Bhagwat.
general secretary Mohan Bhagwat to succeed him.
Mohan Bahgwat is the new 'Sar Sangh Chalak' (chief) of the RSS.
Bhagwat’s appointment is expected to redefine relations with the BJP at a time when the saffron party is trying hard to come back to power at the Centre, PTI reported.
He replaces KS Sudarshan who steps down after being at the helm of the Sangh Parivar fountain head for nearly nine years when there were ups and downs in its ties with BJP during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's term as Prime Minister of the NDA government.
The election of Bhagwat as ‘Sar Sangh Chalak’ came on the second day of the three-day RSS conclave which is expected to redefine its relationship with the BJP.
BJP president Rajnath Singh and Bal Apte, on deputation from RSS, were present on the occasion.
59-year-old Bhagwat, who has good relations with the BJP leadership including L K Advani, was replaced as general secretary by veteran ideologue Suresh Soni. Soni used to be in the BJP hierarchy a few years ago as a joint general secretary.
A veterinary doctor, Bhagwat hails from Chandrapur in Maharashtra and became a pracharak (full time volunteer) of RSS from his early years.
Bhagwat's name had recently figured in the ATS chargesheet when one of the accused in the Malegaon blasts had linked him to ISI, a charge he had strongly denied.
Sudarshan's early years as RSS chief were tumultuous with the BJP in power at the Centre at a time when the Sangh Parivar came under attack due to the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat and the Jinnah controversy triggered by Advani during a trip to Pakistan.