Expressing “shock and dismay” over former President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to accept an invitation to attend an RSS event, former union minister C K Jaffer Sharief and former MP Hanumanthappa today urged him to reconsider his decision.
In their joint letter, the two leaders said they were surprised over Mukherjee’s decision to visit the RSS headquarters in Nagpur to attend the event on June 7. “I am unable to understand the compelling reasons.
However, I personally feel that a person of your stature, being secular in politics for decades, having served in various capacities, including the highest position of Rashtrapati, visiting Sangh Parivar at this point in time before parliament elections is not proper,” the letter read.
The two leaders said Congressmen besides secular people were “stunned” to hear the news and “agitated.” They said they were hopeful that the former president would reconsider the idea. “I once again request you to reconsider and avoid visiting Sangh Parivar in the interest of secularism and country,” the leaders said.
Sharief told PTI that it was surprising that Mukherjee has taken a decision like that. “We are very good old friends…this sudden visit to Nagpur is something surprising, which we never expected,” Sharief said. Mukherjee was above politics now, Sharief said, adding, he (Mukherjee) cannot forget his past. “If he (Mukherjee) has reached this level, it is because of the Congress,” Sharief said.
Mukherjee has been invited to be the chief guest at the valedictory function of Sangh Shiksha Varg — a training camp for RSS volunteers — at its headquarters in Nagpur. A senior RSS functionary had said yesterday that Mukherjee has accepted the invitation.