RSS cancels annual meeting in Bengaluru amid COVID-19 outbreak

The meeting was supposed to be held in Bengaluru between March 15 and 17

Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi RSS
RSS general secretary Suresh Bhayaji Joshi issued a statement saying the meeting will not be held as per schedule. Photo: PTI File

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has cancelled the annual meeting of Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, its highest decision-making body, amid COVID-19 outbreak.

The meeting was supposed to be held in Bengaluru between March 15 and 17.

RSS general secretary Suresh Bhayaji Joshi issued a statement saying the meeting will not be held as per schedule.

About 1,500 delegates — that include members from RSS and its various wings, especially BJP, and special invitees — were to attend the meeting, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.

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The daily quoted a functionary as saying that the meeting of the top body had been suspended only twice before — when the RSS was banned after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and during Emergency.

However, the COVID-19 has declared a pandemic, having affected 1.4 lakh people and claimed 5,400 lives across the world. In India, more than 80 people have tested positive and two people have died due to coronavirus.

Declaring it a disaster, the Indian government has advised people to take precautions and not gather in large numbers unnecessarily.

Schools, colleges, offices, malls and movie halls across many cities in many states have been shut to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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In Bengaluru, bus-stands and railway stations wore a deserted look and malls, cinemas, pubs and night clubs remained shut as part of the lockdown announced by the state government following the country’s first coronavirus fatality reported from Karnataka on March 12.

On March 13, chief minister BS Yediyurappa issued instructions to stop all kinds of exhibitions, summer camps, conferences, fairs, marriage, sports and engagement events and birthday parties state-wide for a week from Saturday.

A day before the RSS announced its cancellation, a Hindu group had held a ‘gau mutra’ (cow urine) party in Delhi in a bid to ward off coronavirus spread.

The All India Hindu Mahasabha and other Hindu groups have advocated the use of cow urine as medicine and cure for cancer.

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