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Pranab Mukherjee at RSS event: Opposition fumes, BJP says Sangh a ‘nationalist organisation’

The news of former President Pranab Mukherjee attending an RSS event in Nagpur on June 7 has a sparked a massive outrage with the Congress and BJP firing salvos at each other. While the Congress was left red-faced on reports that the former President has accepted the invitation to be the Chief Guest at a key event of the right-wing organisation, the Bharatiya Janata Party missed no time in describing the RSS a nationalist organisation. Speaking to reporters, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that political untouchability has no place in a democracy. This kind of political untouchability is not correct in a democracy. Everyone should meet, discuss, exchange thoughts and wherever there is a difference of opinion, it must be given due respect. Sangh is not linked to ISI or not an organisation of Pakistan. It is an organisation of nationalists, Gadkaris remark comes in the wake of reports that Mukherjee will on June 7 visit the RSS headquarters in Nagpur where he will address 700 workers attending the Trutiya Varsha. This has stunned many of the Congress leaders. Party leader Sandeep Dixit noted that Pranab Mukherjee was of the belief that there is no organisation worse than RSS in the country. He sought to know from the RSS whether it agrees with Pranabs view about the Sangh. According to Pranabda, there is no party worse than the RSS in the country (Pranab da ki mansha ke hisaab se, RSS se jyada ghatiya aur ganda sansthan Hindustan mein koi aur nahi hai). 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. Majid Memon of the NCP said that Pranab Mukherjee should have politely turned down the RSS invitation. 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. Party spokesperson Faud Halim said that the former President should have avoided the invite. By being present, Pranab Mukherjee would be doing a disservice to the ideas he has lived with all his life. He would also be doing a disservice to his position of former President of India. Meanwhile, firebrand BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that Pranab Mukherjee has demitted office and has full rights to decide on attending any event. Throughout his life, he remained a Congressman but it doesnt mean that he will not change. Circumstances change from time to time. He said that people are gradually getting to know the real face of the RSS. If they are inviting Pranab, why he should not accept it? Jai Prakash Narayan had attended the Sangh Shiksha Vard. Pranab Mukherjee is another JP to attend the event. It noted that it is the tradition of the Sangh to invite prominent personalities to its events.