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State lifts 54-year-old ban on govt officials joining RSS, Jamaat-e-Islami; Congress attacks government

An obsolete ban prohibiting Haryana employees from joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or Jamaat-e-Islami was lifted on Monday. The government has informed all department heads about the lifting of that ban. A former chief secretary had issued instructions back in 1967 stating that the government considered the activities of organizations such as the RSS and Jamaat-e-Islami as of such a nature that participation in them would result in disciplinary action. With the Haryana Civil Services (Government Employees’ Conduct) Rules, 2016, government instructions dated 2.4.1980 and dated 11.1.1967 are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect as they are no longer relevant, the general administration department said in an order on Monday.

The Haryana government has opened its doors to its employees to participate in RSS activities. The order prompted strong reactions from both the BJP and Congress parties. ‘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. Surjewala further questioned ‘are they running a government or a BJP-RSS Pathshala’ by attacking the government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was an RSS pracharak.

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During April 1980, state government employees were prohibited from associating themselves with RSS activities by instructions issued by the general administration department of Haryana’s chief secretary’s office. Prior to that, in January 1967, the political and services branch of the office of the chief secretary in Haryana had issued an instruction saying participation in RSS activities by government employees would invite action under the service rules. The Monday communications nullified these two orders. When the BJP formed a government of its own strength in Haryana for the first time in 2014, Khattar became chief minister. Until now, employees of the government had been restricted from participating in RSS-related activities.



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