New Delhi, May 28: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has invited former President Pranab Mukherjee to address its members on June 7. According to RSS, Pranab Mukherjee has agreed to attend the Third Year Sangha Shiksha Varga (SSV) as Chief Guest at its headquarters in Nagpur. However, there is no official confirmation from Mukherjee’s office on the RSS invitation.

“We had extended an invitation to the former president to address RSS workers at our headquarters in Nagpur. He has accepted our invitation,” a top RSS official told a newspaper. More than 600 RSS members are expected to attend the event. If Mukherjee addresses RSS members, it will be a significant development as he has been associated with the Congress throughout his political career. RSS is the parent organisation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the political arch-nemesis of the Congress.

Reacting to the development, RSS leader Rakesh Sinha said the acceptance of the invitation by Pranab Mukherjee sends a positive message. “Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s acceptance to attend RSS event in Nagpur sends a message to the country that on vital issues there should be dialogue and adversaries are not enemies. Questions raised on RSS-Hindutva is being answered by his acceptance of the invitation,” he told news agency ANI.

“The nation must be grateful to Pranab da for finishing all attempts to outcaate [sic] a great organisation that has single-mindedly worked for this great nation,” RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy tweeted yesterday. “Pranab is the new Sardar Patel,” he wrote. Mukherjee, 82, worked closely with former prime minister Indira Gandhi as well as Rajiv Gandhi. He was the finance minister in the UPA-II government headed by former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Mukherjee demitted office of President in July last year.