Former President Pranab Mukherjee to address RSS cadres in Nagpur

Former president Pranab Mukherjee will address members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at its headquarters in Nagpur on June 7, according to a senior functionary of the organisation and an official from Mukherjee’s office.

An invitation was extended to Mukherjee address the RSS’s third-year camp for members studying to qualify as pracharaks, which he has accepted, the RSS functionary cited above said on Sunday. “He will go to Nagpur to attend the event. He will spend two days in Nagpur and return on June 8,” an official from Mukherjee’s office confirmed.

The former president was associated with the Congress throughout his political career and held several key ministerial berths, including finance and defence under multiple Congress regimes. But officials close to Mukherjee said that he has had a good rapport with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for several years despite the RSS’s links with the Bharataiya Janata Party (BJP).

Mukherjee, 82, has been associated with the Congress party right since 1969 when Indira Gandhi helped him to get elected to Rajya Sabha. He became one of her trusted ministers.

Pranab’s first tenure as Union Finance Minister remained till 1982-84. After the murder of Indira, Pranab got isolated. At one time he was considered as a prime ministerial candidate. In 1986, he formed the National Socialist Congress Party, but then he joined the Congress and the party merged. In 2012, he continued working as a troublemaker in the Congress and was President of the country from 2012 to 2017.

The Congress and the RSS have two opposing ideologies. Such a program has been organized every year in Nagpur’s headquarter Nagpur. Earlier this program was called Officers Training. But now its name has been changed to union education category. After the education, RSS volunteers can become full-time preachers. After this, these campaigners work with the ideology of the Sangh in the whole of life.

When Pranab Mukherjee lived in Raisina Hills, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat once met him. The RSS workers of Nagpur said that it will be announced at the right time. However, he acknowledged that the invitation was sent to the former President.Two days earlier Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had reached the headquarters of the RSS in Nagpur. Here he addressed the trainee volunteers of the third year and met the RSS general secretary, Bhaiya ji Joshi.

Bhagwat had called on Mukherjee in December 2015, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance lost the assembly elections in Bihar, setting off speculation in the political corridors about the purpose of the meeting. RSS functionaries had, however, asserted that Bhagwat had gone to greet the president after Diwali and had presented him books about the Sangh.