Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Sanjay Joshi
has written to Home Minister P Chidambaram, seeking more security as he fears a threat to his life. Mr Joshi has said in his letter that he has received both threat calls on his mobile phone and letters from unknown persons.
Mr Joshi's letter lists three mobile numbers that he says he received death threats from on the 3rd and 4th of June last month. "I have also received one hand-written letter from one person namely Rasool Khan wherein I have been warned that I should get ready for my death," the letter says, and attaches the note. It is dated June 14.
A week before he wrote this letter, on June 8, Mr Joshi - most known for his bitter rivalry with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi - was forced to resign from the BJP. His return to the party after six years in political exile last year had caused Mr Modi to go into a deep sulk. Mr Modi skipped a party national executive last year, refused to campaign for the UP elections and all but skipped another crucial party meet in May this year. He acquiesced and attended the May event only after Mr Joshi resigned from the party's executive at the last minute.
Mr Joshi went back to the RSS last month, but there have been many within the Sangh Parivar and outside who have criticised Mr Modi's strong-arm tactics to ensure his rival's exit from the party.
There have also been incidents in recent weeks of anti-Modi posters that also praise Mr Joshi springing up in strategic locations in Gujarat and other places. Mr Joshi finally appealed to his supporters not to put up any posters or take out any pamphlets or hold demonstrations for him.
The RSS leader's June 14 letter to the Home Minister also makes reference to earlier complaints Mr Joshi had made about security in November last year. He had then mentioned that while he had adequate cover when in Delhi, his work often took him outside the capital and he then felt unprotected in the face of threats to his life. He had sought more security then and his latest letter dated June 14 thanks the home minister for that being provided, though it also says that the people behind the threats were not traced.