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Chandigarh: On Monday, October 11, the Haryana government withdrew two orders, issued in 1967 and 1980, that restrained its employees from taking part in the activities of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), prompting a strong reaction from the Congress which has asked if the Khattar dispensation was running a “BJP-RSS pathshala“.
“With the coming into effect of the Haryana Civil Services (Government Employees’ Conduct) Rules, 2016, government instructions dated May 2, 1980 and January 11, 1967, are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect as they are no longer relevant,” the general administration department said in an order issued on Monday. With the decision, Haryana government employees can now take part in RSS activities.
The order prompted a strong reaction from the Congress party.
“Now, Haryana employees are free to take part in activities of the Sangh (RSS),” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted, tagging the order issued by the general administration department.
अब हरियाणा के कर्मचारीयों को “संघ” की शाखाओं में भाग लेने की छूट ।
सरकार चला रहे हैं या भाजपा-RSS की पाठशाला! pic.twitter.com/2SNpHXj0wR
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 11, 2021
Attacking the state government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who has in the past been an RSS pracharak, Surjewala further asked, “…are they running a government or a BJP-RSS Pathshala”.
In April 1980, instructions issued by the then general administration department of Haryana’s chief secretary’s office restrained state government employees from any association with RSS activities.
Before that, in January 1967, the political and service branch of the chief secretary’s office in Haryana had issued an instruction saying that participation in RSS activities by government employees would invite action under the service rules.
Monday’s communication nullified these two orders.
Khattar became the chief minister in 2014 when the BJP, for the first time, formed a government of its own strength in Haryana.
The instructions restraining government employees from taking part in RSS activities had remained in force until now.