The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government may not have had the full support of its own Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliations in the party’s decision to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) did not support the tax reform as it led to the dissolving of cess-based welfare schemes. Neither did the Swadeshi Jagran Manch approved, as it felt that GST favoured big businesses instead of small industries, the Indian Express reported. Recently, RSS affiliates have been opposing government policies like demonetisation and GST, and institutions like NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In the previous government as well, BMS leader Dattopant Thengadi dissented against the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leading to non-implementation of labour reforms. On the contrary, GST was given a green signal despite criticism from within the party and its associates. Additionally, Subhash Velingkar of Goa was sacked by the RSS for voicing against the BJP. Dissent has taken many forms within the affiliates. Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) vice president Prabhakar Kelkar protested against demonetisation, holding protests across states, speaking for the farmers in distress.
Rajasthan’s BKS general secretary Kailash Gandoliya also held protests against the BJP led state government. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has also spoken up about issues related to Kashmir and China borders. VHP working president Pravin Togadia accused the IB Ministry of intruding in the party’s work and questioning its members. He said that IB could have prevented many farmer suicides and given jobs to unemployed youths instead. Togadia also rebuked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his remark about gau rakshaks being anti-social, saying that it was an “insult not only of Mother cow but also of Hindus and all those who gave their lives for protecting cows,” the Indian Express reported.