January 02, 2016

India: Haryana's BJP govt packs Gau Aayog with right wing men


Hindustan Times (Delhi) 2 Jan 2016 - Page 11

Navneet Sharma navneetsharma@hindustantimes.com

Khattar govt packs Gau Aayog with right wing men

CHANDIGARH: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana has packed its Gau Seva Aayog with members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other associated saffron outfits in the state.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar with students at Gita Jayanti celebrations in Panchkula recently.

Of the 12 non-official members appointed by the state government to the cow commission five weeks ago, most have either held some position or been active members of the ruling party or organisations such as RSS, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal for several years.

While the notification issued by the animal husbandry department described them as “volunteer gau sewak” or representatives of gaushalas (cow shelters), the strong saffron connection of the chairman and members stands out. “The non-official members were selected by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in consultation with animal husbandry minister OP Dhankar. “There are no criteria for selecting members,” according to department officials.

Aayog chairman Bhani Ram Mangla remained president of Gau-Vansh Vikas Prakosth of the BJP for five years, whereas Rishi Prakash Sharma, vicechairman of the commission, is the returning officer for the ongoing organisational polls of the ruling party. Sharma is a former pracharak of the RSS.

Among the commission members, Ram lal Bagri, Shravan Kumar Garg and Ramji Lal Rawat have had “dayitv” (held positions) in the RSS or been actively involved with its activities in the state. Daya Shankar Tiwari, Prabhati Lal and Mahant Parmanand Giri have been associated with the Vishva Hindu Parishad. Vidya Sagar Baghla, who belongs to Ratia in Fatehabad has been sanyojak (coordinator) of Bajrang Dal for close to 30 years.