NEW DELHI – Senior Congress leader and former General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi’s sharing of stage with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, at a Gita Mahotsav here on Sunday, has raised uproar but the party decided to play it down.
Dwivedi was sitting in the front row along with Bhagwat, union minister Smriti Irani, Ram temple activist Sadhvi Rithambra and other spiritual leaders at a conclave in Delhi’s Red Fort on the importance and relevance of Gita.
Dwivedi later clarified that he came to the event in an “individual capacity” and not as a Congress leader.
“The Bhagavad Gita does not belong to the RSS and every person has the right to attend this type of programmes,” said Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera.
When quizzed further by the media about Dwivedi and Bhagwat sharing the stage, the Congress spokesperson said, “Is the Bhagavad Gita belongs only to Bhagwat and his organisation? We breathe the same air as Bhagwat, does that mean we are sharing something or we share the views of Bhagwat.
“I don’t understand this question. It so happens. If they are celebrating the Bhagavad Gita…people from different ideologies have every right to attend such functions. I don’t see anything wrong in that.”
However, it’s not the first time that Dwivedi has caused an embarrassment to the party. When the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president was playing out in the media, he questioned the process of the selection of the new party chief.
Dwivedi had been powerful General Secretary and close aide of Sonia Gandhi until Rahul Gandhi took over and replaced him with K.C. Venugopal as General Secretary Organisations. He has spearheaded the party’s communication and organisational aspects, apart from being in-charge of several states and committees.
(With inputs from IANS)