Despite the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) maintaining that Sunday’s Shiv Shakti Sangam on the outskirts of Pune, has no hidden agenda, the proposed biggest-ever gathering of swayamsewaks in the country has raised a lot of interest among the political pundits.Analysts see in the RSS plan a beginning of a long-term strategy to make inroads into western Maharashtra – considered a traditional Congress-NCP stronghold – at the behest of its political outfit, the BJP, by reaching out to civil societies and social service organisations.Organised by its western Maharashtra unit, as many as 1,58,778 swayamsevaks have already registered for the programme. A special song, in tune with its resolve to realise the dream of Hindavi Swaraj, cherished by none other than Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, will be rendered on the occasion.A band troupe of 2,500 members also would make a presentation, after which RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat would address the gathering.The BJP has always found the western region, dominated by the cooperative sector, cold-shouldering its expansionist dreams. Be it cooperative sugar factories or milk societies or credit societies, there are hardly any leader from the BJP who can call the shots. The areas of Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Ahmednagar are predominated by caste politics. The NCP, seen as the representative party of the Marathas, and the Congress, with its presence since pre-Independence era, have succeeded in maintaining their stranglehold over the region.Nana Jadhav, chief of RSS Western Maharashtra, while speaking to dna, refused to give the event any political interpretations. He said that as far as western Maharashtra is concerned, the BJP already has 4-5 ministers in Prakash Javadekar, Girish Bapat, Chandrakant Patil, Ram Shinde and Girish Mahajan. “There is no need for RSS to organise such an event to drum up support for the BJP,” he said.Though Jadhav prefered to overlook the BJP’s lack of clout in districts like Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Ahmednagar, and fielding candidates from Congress-NCP detractors in Kolhapur, the message is loud and clear: to maximise its hold in the region, especially when its political offshoot is holding the reins in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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RSS eyes foothold in western dists with today’s show of strength