Days after Pranab Mukherjee sent ripples in the political circles by visiting the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav said that views expressed by the former president were almost the same as those expressed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee, speaking at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Nagpur, said that attempts to define India’s nationhood on the basis of religion would “dilute our nationality.” He added that “the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance,” in what some analysts and politicians saw as a strong message to the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“RSS has always been very open org. It extended invitation to former President & he attended their programs and conveyed his views to RSS members and leaders. Most of his views were similar to views expressed by RSS chief. We didn’t see much difference in views of both leaders,” Madhav told ANI.
There are things on which there can be disagreements but that's the beauty of RSS. Irrespective of difference of opinions it's open to dialogue with all eminent people so they invited Pranab Da. What was really unfortunate was reactions of Congress&so called liberals: Ram Madhav pic.twitter.com/iqJGiPhzwU
— ANI (@ANI) June 13, 2018
Madhav further lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for saying that the BJP does not respect its senior leaders like LK Advani.
“We don’t have to learn respecting seniors from Congress. We know how Sonia Gandhi treated Sitaram Kesri, their national President in mid 90s. We also know how Rahul Gandhi himself treated Manmohan Singh, when he was the PM, in a press conference,” Madhav added.
On June 7, Mukherjee attended the Third Year Sangha Shiksha Varga (SSV) event, organised at RSS headquarters in Nagpur, and addressed the RSS workers.A political slugfest had erupted after Mukherjee accepted RSS’ invitation to be the chief guest at the event.
Several Congress leaders had then urged the former president to reconsider, while others said his visit could create an “undesirable difference” in the country.
At the RSS event in Nagpur, Mukherjee spoke on the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India.
He spoke about the ancient institutions of India that attracted students from abroad as well.
However, later Congress leaders like P. Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Randeep Surjewala and others lauded Pranab Mukherjee for his speech at the event.