All eyes would be on the former President as he will address a valedictory function of the RSS’s third-year officers’ training camp at its headquarters in Reshimbagh, Nagpur. The event has generated a lot of interest and controversy over the past few days, ever since Mukherjee agreed to address the RSS function at the Sangh’s headquarters.
Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Nagpur yesterday and was attended by five RSS functionaries.
#Maharashtra: Visuals of preparation for the concluding function of ‘Tritiya Varsh Varg’ (third-year course) at RSS… https://t.co/05xhK4Rpfb
— ANI (@ANI) 1528341325000
The RSS, on its part, has claimed that even Mahatma Gandhi and Jaiprakash Narayan attended their functions and former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had invited its workers for the Republic Day parade in 1963 after being impressed with its work.
Several Congress leaders had urged Pranab Mukherjee to not attend the function as many said that his visit would create an “undesirable difference” in the country. Even his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, who is also the president of Mahila Congress strongly, disapproved of his father’s decision to attend the event.
She also warned her father of the consequences of attending such a meet. “By going to Nagpur, you are giving BJP/RSS full handle to plant false stories,” she said on Twitter.
Earlier Congress leader P Chidambaram has urged Mukherjee to take the opportunity to tell the RSS what is wrong with their ideology. Jairam Ramesh also wrote to the former president requesting him not to attend the RSS event.
In response to all the criticism, Mukherjee last week said : “Whatever I have to say, I will say in Nagpur.”
Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama, former Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Rajabhau Khobragade are some of the prominent personalities who attended RSS events in the past.