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RSS did not support Emergency: Indira Gandhi aide

Indira-Gandhi

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s close aide R K Dhawan Wednesday dismissed claims by former Intelligence Bureau chief T V Rajeswar that the RSS had supported Emergency.

“How could RSS say that they could support Indira Gandhi for the Emergency or support her during the post-Emergency elections leaving behind the Jan Sangh party. There was no such mention of RSS supporting Gandhi,” Dhawan said.

He stated this in an interview in India Today when asked about Rajeswar’s claim in his newly-released book ‘The Crucial Years’, dismissing it as a mere “self-glorification” and for creating sensation.

In the book Rajeswar claimed that the RSS had supported several measures taken during the Emergency and the then chief of the organisation Balasaheb Deoras had tried to contact then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

To a pointed question on whether Deoras wanted to meet Gandhi, Dhawan wondered why Rajeswar was making such claims “which did not happen at all”.

“He (Deoras) did make a direct contact with Mrs Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi or the PM’s house,” Dhawan said.

He also dismissed several other charges made in the book against Indira Gandhi, including allegations that she had told IB to snoop on Congressmen or that she was aware of the excesses committed during Emergency.

Dhawan also maintained that Gandhi was visibly relieved on losing the 1977 General Elections so that she could spend time with her family.

In an interview with Karan Thapar for programme ‘To the Point’, Rajewar had said, “Not only they (RSS) were supportive of this, they wanted to establish contact apart from Mrs Gandhi, with Sanjay Gandhi also.”

Rajeswar, who served as Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim after his retirement from service, was responding when asked about certain passages in his book which talk about RSS supporting the Emergency, a statement issued by the interviewer had said.

PTI