On May 29, former President Pranab Mukherjee accepted an invitation from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to attend an event on June 7, raising several eyebrows. Although UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi haven’t commented on the same, reportedly many Congress leaders are questioning Mukherjee’s decision.
Even though Pranab Mukherjee is no longer associated with any political party, he has a history of serving as a Congress leader. Further, the proximity of RSS with BJP is also one of the factors that make his decision shocking for many. Notably, he was the one who had earlier raised questions on RSS’s association with terrorists.
On one hand Congress leaders like CK Jaffer Sharief and Ramesh Chennithala think that Mukherjee should re-consider his decision but on the other hand, sources suggest that the former President’s decision signals that he has shed his political role and doesn’t see issues from the view of party politics.
Reportedly, Mukherjee will visit the RSS headquarters located in Nagpur on June 7 where he will be addressing the Tritiya Varsh Varg. Senior leader AK Antony said that he was unaware of the event while former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that Mukherjee is a “secular-minded person” and that there will be no change in his behavior even if he attends the RSS event.
RSS organizes its camps annually across India. The Tritiya Varsh Varg is held every year in summer in Nagpur. Only those who attend the first and second year camps are allowed to attend the last year camp. After attending this final course, the attendees will become full-time pracharaks.