RSS moves closer to former President Pranab Mukherjee

Congress rattled over veteran leader's move to address RSS workers.

New Delhi: At a time when differences have surfaced within the Congress over former President Pranab Mukherjee's apparent move to send a clear signal that the RSS is not untouchable, the Sangh is now trying to establish a closer and a more intimate bond with the veteran Congressman.

The RSS, which used to refer to him as "Dr Pranab Mukherjee" or "Shri Pranab Mukherjee", moved a step closer and now referred to him as "Pranab da". On the website of the RSS' mouthpiece Organiser’’, the lead story's headline screamed: "Pranab Da at RSS Headquarter: Why Intolerant Brigade is Shocked?"

Incidentally, Mr Mukherjee is fondly called "dada" or "Pranabda" by his close associates and friends.While Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly ‘Ramesh Chennithala, in a letter to Mr Mukherjee, said he was "deeply hurt" by his decision to accept the invitation, another senior Congress leader Abhishek "Manu" Singhvi said it was "wrong to judge someone for accepting an invitation till we listen to his speech". Recalling his brief association with RSS mouthpieces, Mr Singhvi said he had also "written" for Panchjanya and Organiser and that his articles had been "well accepted" within the party. Mr Singhvi took a potshot at those who had opposed his decision to write for the RSS mouthpieces. He said while a majority of Congress leaders appreciated and accepted his decision, there were "a few snipers, which are there in every party", who chose to target him. Former finance minister P. Chidambaram said now Mr Mukherjee has accepted the invitation, "it is wrong to discuss whether he should have accepted or not". Claiming that he "wouldn't have accepted the invitation", Mr Chidambaram felt that Mr Mukherjee "should go there and tell them what is wrong with their ideology".

Meanwhile, Organiser maintained in its lead article that "people who share the same values of patriotism and are dedicated to social change are bound to attend the RSS camps on invitations despite different political ideologies.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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