Pranab Mukherjee, Congress face condemnation after ex-President agrees to address RSS cadres

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In an unprecedented event, former President and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee will address cadres of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at its headquarters in Nagpur on 7 June.

Pranab Mukherjee

 

Around 800 RSS workers from across the country will attend the Sangh Shiksha Varg, previously called third year of officer training course (OTC), reported Hindustan Times. The passouts can become full-time ‘pracharaks’ who then carry forward the Sangh work throughout their lives.

An invitation was extended to Mukherjee to address the RSS’s third-year camp for members studying to qualify as pracharaks, which he has accepted, an RSS functionary said on Sunday.

“He will go to Nagpur to attend the event. He will spend two days in Nagpur and return on June 8,” an official from Mukherjee’s office confirmed.

The officials close to Mukherjee said that he has had a good rapport with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for several years despite the RSS’s links with the Bharataiya Janata Party (BJP).

“After Mukherjee became the president, Bhagwat was invited two or three times to Rashtrapati Bhavan and the two talked about India, its culture, and philosophical issues,” said a second official from Mukherjee’s office.

The move has raised many eyebrows as the former president was associated with the Congress throughout his political career. Mukherjee was the top troubleshooter of the Congress till 2012. He was the 13th President and was in office from 2012 to 2017.

Mukherjee accepting the RSS invite caused a political storm on social media with many seeking to remind each other how there were plenty of Sangh sympathisers even within the Congress.

 

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