The post-poll violence in Bengal, the Covid situation in the country and preparations for a possible third wave of the virus are high on the agenda of an internal meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP. Only 10 top rung leaders of the organisation are taking part in the three-day meet, which will continue till June 5.
Sources said those attending include Dattatreya Hosabale, Krishna Gopal, Manmohan Vaidya, Mukund, Arun Kumar, Suresh Soni, Bhaiyyaji Joshi and Bhagaiya and Ramdutt Chakradhar, besides RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
The RSS has described it as a routine meeting, where the programmes for the next one month will be discussed. But theb agenda indicates otherwise.
Much of the focus will be on the Covid situation in the country, for which the organisation is doing voluntary work, sources said. Emphasis will be given on preparations in view of the possibility of third wave of Covid. The post-poll violence in West Bengal and the political situation in the country can also be discussed, sources said.
The meet comes barely 10 days after a mega huddle of the RSS and the BJP on the possible impact of Covid on the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. The meeting -- which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- reflected concern at the "at the highest level" of the BJP and the RSS over the impact of the Covid crisis on public perceptions.
The government had been caught off guard as the second wave of Covid brutalised the country and exposed the deep crisis in the healthcare system, especially in rural areas.
The lack of oxygen, beds and drugs even in urban areas, where many died waiting outside hospitals, and the current vaccine shortage, is seen to have added to the dent in perception.
In tandem with the second wave, the BJP also failed to stop Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's triumphal return to power for a third straight term after a battle where it had arrayed its mighty poll machinery and star campaigners including the Prime Minister, against her.
The stunning defeat was seen as a serious loss of face for the party, which was hoping for a comfortable victory, especially after its stellar performance from the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
In what was seen as a case of jitters, the BJP toned down its celebrations for its seventh victory anniversary, asked its workers to visibly focus on "service of the society" and announced a string of welfare measures for children orphaned by Covid.