PATNA: The Bihar police is gathering information about the RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates, in what could turn out to be a new point of conflict between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ally BJP.
The RSS is the ideological mentor of the BJP.
The state Home Department, which reports directly to Nitish Kumar, is collecting details of the RSS and 19 related outfits.
The information was sought by a senior police officer of the Special Branch, which is the intelligence wing of the Bihar police and which briefs the Chief Minister on various sensitive issues.
The letter from the Special Branch seeks these details from all deputy superintendents of police on the field “within a week”. Nitish Kumar, who holds additional charge of the state Home Ministry, oversees both the Home Department and the Special Branch.
The letter has angered the BJP. Sanjay Mayukh, a member of the Bihar Legislative Council, raised it in the house, saying the move was completely uncalled for.
The letter is dated May 28, just days after the May 23 national election verdict that fuelled a rift between Nitish Kumar and the BJP.
State Home Ministry officials sought to describe the exercise as “nothing big” and a part of routine process.
The RJD of Lalu Yadav, dumped by Nitish Kumar as an alliance partner in 2017, seized the chance to revive its demand for a ban on the RSS, to the BJP’s chagrin.
The state government move was seen to reflect Nitish Kumar’s resentment after the BJP, revelling in its supersized election tally even without allies, decided that each ally would only get one spot each in the union cabinet.
Nitish Kumar argued that the rule should not apply to his Janata Dal United, which won just one seat less than the BJP in Bihar.