Mumbai, Jun 6: Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday arrived in Nagpur to attend a programme of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at its headquarters in the city. RSS members received Pranab Mukherjee at Nagpur airport. Mukherjee, invited as the chief guest, will address the Third Year Sangha Shiksha Varga (SSV) tomorrow, which is held annually at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be the keynote speaker at the function. Also Read - Wedding in Times of Corona: Pune Cops Step in as Bride's Parents to Get Couple Married Amid COVID-19 Lockdown
A political controversy erupted after Pranab Mukherjee, who has been associated with Congress for decades, accepted the RSS’s invitation for the event in Nagpur. RSS is the parent organisation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the political arch-nemesis of the Congress. While Congress leaders expressed unhappiness over his acceptance, the BJP and the Sangh saw nothing wrong in it. Ahead of the event, Mukherjee said whatever he has to say, he will say in Nagpur only. Also Read - 'Control Anger,' RSS Chief Reacts to Palghar Lynching; On Jamaat, he Urges People Not to Alienate Community
Watch: Pranab Mukherjee Receives Warm Welcome by RSS Members at Nagpur Airport
“Whatever I have to say, I will say in Nagpur. I have received several letters, requests and phone calls, but I haven’t responded to anyone yet,” Mukherjee was quoted as saying by Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also wrote to Mukherjee requesting him not to attend the RSS event. Earlier, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had urged him to take the opportunity to tell the RSS what is wrong with their ideology.
“Now that he has accepted the invitation, there is no point in debating why he accepted it. The more important thing to say is, Sir you have accepted invitation, please go there and tell them what is wrong with their ideology,” the former Union Minister had said. Another former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief in a letter to Mukherjee had urged him to reconsider his decision and avoid attending the event in the interest of secularism.