Coronavirus forces RSS to call off Bengaluru meet

Coronavirus forces RSS to call off Bengaluru meet

The ABPS is the highest decision-making body of the Sangh and its 3-day meeting was scheduled to start March 15 in Bengaluru

Representative image (iStock Photo)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, BJP's ideological parent, has called off its Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) amid the COVID-19 scare. 

The ABPS is the highest decision-making body of the Sangh and its 3-day meeting was scheduled to start March 15 in Bengaluru. 

"In view of the seriousness of the pandemic COVID-19 and in light of instructions and advisories thereof issued by the Union and State governments, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha meeting scheduled in Bengaluru has been suspended," RSS Sarakaryavah Suresh (Bhayyaji) Joshi said in a statement, and asked all swayamsevaks to cooperate with the administration to create awareness among public and "to face this challenge successfully."

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Despite the state government ordering a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the RSS Till Friday was firm on going ahead with the meeting, which was expected to have 1,500 participants. In fact, the organisation had a screening facility at the meeting venue and those with any symptoms would have been sent back. 

Before the announcement that the ABPS was called off, Congress leader Siddaramaiah attacked the Sangh and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. "Government has banned public events amidst coronavirus outbreak. But a huge conference by RSS will be held on this 15th of March. Mr Yediyurappa, is the ban not applicable to RSS?" the former chief minister said in a tweet.

"An estimated 1,500 participants from different parts of the country will attend RSS conference. The event should be postponed at least for the sake of RSS leaders if not for common people. Yediyurappa, no ideology is greater than human life," he said. 

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