Allegation that former Dalit BJP leader denied entry to Nagpur office baseless: RSS

Bengaluru, Dec 6 (IANS): The Karnataka unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) issued a clarification over the controversy that former Dalit BJP leader from the state Goolihatti Shekar was denied entry to RSS headquarters.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, there is no system in place to register the names of visitors to the Nagpur Sangh’s office. The statement dismisses the allegation as 'baseless' and 'inconsequential'.

The statement reads, “Former MLA from Hosadurga, Goolihatti Shekar, alleged in an audio recording that he was denied entry to Dr. Hedgewar’s Memorial Building in Nagpur due to caste reasons. However, there is no system for recording the names of visitors at all. Free entry is allowed to the RSS office and similar memorials.”

It further emphasises that thousands of people from all castes and classes visit the RSS office premises, and there is no question of denial of entry. The statement questions the timing of Goolihatti Shekar's claim, noting that the alleged incident occurred four months before the Karnataka assembly elections, and no complaint was made at that time despite several meetings with RSS leaders. The RSS finds it surprising that he is making statements about it after 10 months, the statement notes.

The RSS concludes the statement by asserting that they welcome everyone with an open mind.

Meanwhile, Goolihatti Shekar maintained that he had shared the pain he suffered. “I have great respect for the RSS,” he stated.

“I experienced this when I went to the Hedgewar Museum in Nagpur. But, RSS has stated that there is no untouchability, and I am happy. I respect RSS,” he reiterated.

“Before the elections, assembly committee members had gone for the trip. I went to Hedgewar’s Museum thinking that it is our RSS office. Before entering, one of the persons spoke to the person who accompanied me. I stayed out after that. That pain is still fresh in my mind, and that’s why I have released the audio,” he explained.

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah stated that there is no entry for 'Shudras' and Dalits into the inner circles of the RSS.

Taking to social media, Siddaramaiah on Wednesday maintained that their only job is to stand outside the door and keep nodding for everything and say ‘Ji hujoor’. “The WhatsApp voice recording sent by former BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekar to B.L. Santhosh (National General Secretary) provides evidence of it,” the CM charged.



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