Bengaluru: Dattatreya Hosabale was Saturday appointed as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) new sarkaryavah or general secretary.
Election to the post was held during the RSS’s top-decision making body Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha’s (ABPS) annual meeting held in Bengaluru.
Hosabale, who had been one of the RSS joint general secretaries since 2009, replaces Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, who held the position for 12 years.
The post of the general secretary is the second highest executive post in the RSS after the post of sarsanghchalak, currently held by Mohan Bhagwat.
“Bhaiyyaji Joshi requested that he should be relieved from his responsibility as he felt that with age he also would like to step down. Dattatreya Hosabale has been elected unanimously,” said Arun Kumar, RSS national media head.
Hosabale’s name has been in the reckoning since the past six years and this time, RSS leaders, including Joshi, felt there was a need to inject new ideas under a new leadership, said leaders in the organisation.
RSS leaders also told ThePrint that Joshi, 73, had worked towards building the organisation on a massive scale.
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‘Seek your cooperation’
Hosabale, 65, hails from Soraba in Karnataka’s Shivamogga. He holds a postgraduate degree in English. Initially associated with the ABVP, he joined the RSS in 1968. He worked in Assam, helping to build the RSS shakhas and expand its base in the Northeast.
Speaking at the press conference in Bengaluru, where the announcement was made, Hosabale said, “I have a new responsibility and seek your cooperation. I am not new to the working of the sangh. I have support and travelled widely to understand how the sangh works.”
Hosabale said that last year, due to Covid, RSS could not run its shakhas.
“But we tried a different strategy. Each and every citizen was expected to follow the Covid-19 guidelines. So we came to the understanding that we could be at home and continue with our work and responsibilities as a swayamsevak,” he said.
Hosabale said that the RSS provided the people with daily needs like food, medicines during the pandemic.
BJP sources said Hosabale is known to be close to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
This will help in facilitating a smooth co-ordination between the RSS and BJP, said a leader, who was present at the meeting.
(Edited by Debalina Dey)
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