Row over Seva Dal's praise of RSS

An otherwise innocuous and mostly factual piece of history on the birth of the Seva Dal has created a flutter in Madhya Pradesh.

It is being construed as the Congress' praise of the RSS for its "military-like discipline" at a time when party president Rahul Gandhi has compared the saffron outfit to the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the eve of its three-day national convention in Morena district, the Seva Dal on Monday purportedly issued a press note tracing a brief history of the organisation.

The press note mentions that the founder of Seva Dal, Narayan Subbarao Hardikar, and that of the RSS, K B Hegdewar, were close friends and freedom fighters.

The note also says Hegdewar is a former Congress leader.

While other details in the press note are standard history, coming as it does in the run-up to the Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has been left embarrassed.

All senior party leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath, are scheduled to take part in the Seva Dal meet, which will be inaugurated on Tuesday by its national president Lalji Bhai Desai.

Seva Dal state president Yogesh Yadav has termed the press note fake and the handiwork of the forces that are upset over the Congress' rising popularity in the state. "I will lodge an FIR in this matter," he said.

Earlier, AICC general secretary and Madhya Pradesh in-charge Deepak Bavaria had courted controversy for praising the RSS' discipline and exhorting Congress workers to learn lessons from the saffron organisation.

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Row over Seva Dal's praise of RSS

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