The Haryana government on Monday scrapped a 54-year-old rule that restrained its employees from joining or being associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Jamaat-e-Islami, The Indian Express reported.

In a letter to all department heads, Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan said that a notification from 1967 barring government employees from joining the two organisations was no longer relevant.

The 1967 notification stated that activities of organisations such as the RSS and the Jamaat-e-Islami were of “such a nature” that participation in them by the government employees would attract disciplinary action under their service rules.

A senior government officer in Haryana said that the Centre had lifted the ban in 1975.

“Apparently, it was not read by anybody in Haryana till date,” he told The Indian Express. “As such [the] RSS or Jamaat-e-Islami are not political organisations listed with the Election Commission of India. Thus, the Haryana government has now just reiterated the MHA’s [Ministry of Home Affairs] instructions.”

The Congress criticised the Haryana government’s decision and asked if the Khattar dispensation was running a “BJP-RSS pathshala [school]”, The Tribune reported.