New Delhi, June 10: Days after Pranab Mukherjee attended an event of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in Nagpur, NDA’s disgruntled ally Shiv Sena claimed that the former president could be a consensus prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming 2019 general elections, if Bharatiya Janata Party fails to get majority.
In the editorial of the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, Sena said,”There is a buzz in Delhi about such an agenda being behind the invitation to the Congress veteran to deliver a speech at Sangh headquarters.”
On being asked about the same, Sena leader Sanjay Raut asserted,”We feel RSS is preparing itself for a situation where it might put forth Pranab Mukherjee ji as PM name if BJP fails to get required numbers, in any case BJP will lose a minimum of 110 seats this time.”
Meanwhile, the Saamna editorial also criticised RSS for holding Iftar parties, saying it was a sign of changed stance of the organisation.
“In the past, the RSS would criticise Congress for organising such parties and boast that such appeasement has no place in Hinduism. The organisation itself is now taking active initiative in such appeasements and the (iftar) parties are organised at government guest houses. It’s a sign of the changed stance of the organisation,” the editorial said.
It also lashed out at Congress for trying to stop Mukherjee’s visit by terming it a ‘noiseless firecracker’.
The editorial also hit out at RSS for not inviting former Sena chief, late Bal Thackeray on its forum. “Balasaheb’s agenda of Hindutva has never been taciturn. Like Veer Savarkar, he too believed in expansive Hinduism. This would be the reason why RSS preferred to maintain a distance from him,” leading daily Hindustan Times quoted statement from the editorial.
Notably, the BJP and the Shiv Sena are at loggerheads for last few years. Their ties have deteriorated to such extent that the two alliance partners contested the recently held by-polls in Maharashtra against each other. Reports claim that Sena will also contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections alone.