GUWAHATI, Jan 21 - The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) may very well claim to be a socio-cultural organisation, but its power and influence was not lost on anyone during the Luitporiya Hindu Samavesh here today, when many senior ministers of the State Government made a beeline to the event to listen to the address of RSS Sarsanghchalak (chief) Mohan Bhagwat.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Commerce and Industry Minister CM Patowary, PWD Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Doley, Power Minister PL Das, among others, attended the event.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain was also there. In addition, the dais was also shared by dozens of religious and spiritual leaders as well as tribal chieftains from across the North East. The central slots were occupied by Bhagwat and a few other local RSS big shots. On their right sat the ministers, including the Chief Minister, while on their left were the religious leaders and tribal rajas and chiefs.
As per initial estimates, around 50,000 people were present in the event.
Bhagwat was the main speaker at the rally. The crowd was also addressed by a couple of other RSS leaders. None of the ministers addressed the crowd.
The event started with the unfurling of the RSS flag and singing of the RSS anthem.
The National Anthem was not sung. A song in Assamese, Luitporiya Hindu Ami, was also recited and there was a small demonstration by RSS cadres.
Security was tight and a drone continued to fly overhead throughout the event monitoring the crowd.