The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will get a new sarkaryavaha or general secretary in March after the organisation holds its internal “election”, scheduled in the same month in Nagpur.

Presently, Suresh Rao Joshi, also known as Bhaiyyaji Joshi, who was re-elected for his third consecutive term in March 2015, is the Sarkaryavaha of the RSS.

His three-year tenure will end in March after which the new general secretary will be appointed by the RSS’ Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (the organisation’s highest decision-making body) during a three-day meet that starts on 9 March in Nagpur.

The general secretary of the RSS is seen as a very influential figure, next in command to the RSS chief, who is seen as more of a guide. The general secretary appoints central office-bearers, apart from leading the Kendriya Karyakari Mandal, the executive committee and presiding over the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the meeting of the RSS’ highest decision-making body.

Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi is presently being assisted by four sah-sarkaryavahs, or joint general secretaries, Suresh Soni, Krishna Gopal, V. Bhagaiah and Dattatreya Hosabale. As per sources, one out of these three are likely to be elevated as the general secretary once Joshi steps down in March.

During “election” for the top posts in RSS, which is based on deliberations and discussions, the incumbent announces the name of the person who is going to replace him and then goes back and sits on the floor along with the other office bearers after which the newly appointed functionary gets up and addresses the office bearers.

Apart from appointing a new general secretary, many other changes in the organisational structure will also be carried out. In doing so, the RSS is expected to keep in mind the states that would go to polls this year, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Sources said that once these organisational changes take effect, the organisation will start working on the ground to prepare for the 2019 elections. “Right now, things are moving at their normal speed as everyone is waiting for March. Once the new team comes in, it will share its vision and guidelines regarding the general elections, following which things will start moving quickly on the ground. Inputs regarding the government’s performance, where it needs to work more, where it needs to put more efforts are being collected from across the country and once the new team comes in, they will be using these inputs to prepare a map,” a source said.

Earlier this week, Hosabale and Krishna Gopal met BJP leaders in Lucknow at the organisation’s office in Nirala Nagar and discussed the performance of the government.

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