New Delhi: Soon after the visuals of former President Pranab Mukherjee at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur were telecast live by television channels, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted what he called the "anguish" of Congress workers.
"The images of Pranab Da, veteran leader and ideologue at RSS Headquarters have anguished millions of Congress workers and all those who believed in pluralism, diversity and the foundational values of the Indian Republic", Anand Sharma tweeted.
But after Pranab Mukherjee’s speech at the RSS event where he pitched for secularism and non-violence, saying "the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance", Anand Sharma told NDTV that nobody in the Congress had any doubt about Pranab Mukherjee's "clarity, courage, conviction and his commitment to the idea of India."
He added a caveat though, saying it was for the RSS to absorb former President Pranab Mukherjee's message.
"The message that he has given is of an India that is inclusive and tolerant, peaceful, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Is the RSS willing to absorb is the question I had raised and that is still in my mind", asked Anand Sharma.
Pranab Mukherjee's decision to accept the invite to the RSS event on Thursday had been questioned by a section of the Congress that had been his party for nearly five decades before he became President in 2012.
Anand Sharma stressed that many of his party colleagues were still surprised that the national flag did not go up or the national anthem wasn't sung at an event attended by a former President.
"People are possibly overlooking that. So when you say certain images are disturbing, there's nothing wrong", said the Congress leader.