Pranab Mukherjee to chair an RSS event as a chief guest; A gallant political gesture?

Of what might come as an astounding stand coming from him, former President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the Rashtriya Sevak Sangh's invitation to chair an event of theirs as the chief guest. RSS honcho Mohan Bhagat extended the invitation to Mukherjee; something he did earlier as well during Mukherjee's tenure at the President's office but was turned down. The event is supposed to take place at the Sangh Headquarters on June 7. This has left the Congress red-faced and the outrage only seems to escalate. 

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His oldest ally Congress seems to be in a particular disbelief. 

“He had questioned the morality of the RSS and talked about corruption in the RSS… described it as communal, anti-national, unpatriotic. According to him, RSS is also the most dangerous institution for the country. We were of the view that the organisation should be thrown out of the country," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit noted to Financial Express.

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The Nationalist Congress Party formed by Sharad Pawar post his split with the Congress, is also of the opinion that it would've been wise on Mukherjee's part to turn down the invitation.

“As an individual person, Pranab Mukherjee had a record of being extremely a secular person during his sting as a minister in various Congress governments and as President. When an invitation was sent to him from Nagpur, it is my individual view that Pranabda would have opted to politely decline this, expecting that people would start talking probably he is changing his stand," Majid Memon on NCP told the publication.

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Reportedly, the Lefts as well are agitated at the former President's gesture which might also be accounted as a hint of ending political untouchability  with the Sangh.

However, the Sangh Parivar is delighted to have received Mukherjee's affirmation and says RSS is an organisation of nationalists and now that his term as a President is concluded long back, he is free to decide which event he wants to attend. 

On 7th June, Mukherjee is expected to address around 700 RSS workers and touch upon a number of contemporary issues. 

 

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