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  India   All India  08 Jun 2018  Pranab Mukherjee reminded Modi govt of 'Rajdharma': Congress

Pranab Mukherjee reminded Modi govt of 'Rajdharma': Congress

Published : Jun 8, 2018, 9:19 am IST
Updated : Jun 8, 2018, 1:39 pm IST

Congress on Thursday said former president Pranab Mukherjee has shown the 'Mirror of Truth' to the RSS.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at RSS event in Nagpur. (Photo: PTI)
 Former President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at RSS event in Nagpur. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: After days of debate and attack on Pranab Mukherjee over his decision to attend a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) function, Congress on Thursday said the former president has “shown the ‘Mirror of Truth’ to the RSS”.

Pranab Mukherjee also reminded the Narendra Modi government about “Rajdharma” – that “happiness of people is the happiness of ruler, their welfare is his welfare”, said the Congress.


The Congress convened a press conference minutes after Pranab Mukherjee's address at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, where the party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the former President has reminded the BJP's ideological mentor about "India's pluralism, tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness as an article of faith and soul of the country".

Over the last week, several Congress leaders, including party strategist Ahmed Patel and Pranab Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, served barbed comments at the former President. The party felt that Pranab Mukherjee appearance at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur will hand a powerful political weapon to the BJP to denigrate the Congress.


Also Read: Pranab Mukherjee reminds RSS of tolerance and pluralism

Soon after the visuals of Pranab Mukherjee's visit to the RSS headquarters on Thursday, were telecast live on television channels, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted: "Images of Pranab Da, veteran leader and ideologue at RSS Headquarters have anguished millions of Congress workers."

Congress' Manish Tiwari tweeted:

The 82-year-old former President, who refused to answer questions over criticism from Congress for accepting the RSS invite, saying he would say his piece only at the event, delivered a strong message on Thursday evening.

In a half-hour speech, Pranab Mukherjee traced the course of history to trace and define India's democracy and plurality and called it a "sacred trust".

He highlighted the need of freeing public discourse from all forms of violence and reminded the government about “Rajdharma” -- quoting liberally from scriptures, poetry, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and the treatises of Chanakya, philosopher and advisor of Chandragupta Maurya, who was dubbed the greatest political mind of ancient India.


Today, the Congress asserted that "as Indians and as Congressmen, we encourage and believe in the democratic dialogue", but questioned whether the "RSS was ready to listen". It also questioned whether the RSS believed "that by merely inviting the former President to an event will give it the much elusive social and political sanctity".

Anand Sharma told reporters, “We did not see the tricolour go up or the national anthem being sung at the RSS headquarters. There was never any doubt of Pranab Mukherjee's ability to articulate and his conviction, but for dialogue the other side must listen and change, hope RSS does it.”

The RSS and various leaders of the BJP have maintained that Pranab Mukherjee's acceptance of the RSS invite was an endorsement of the need for dialogue. The Congress leaders' concern was evidence of small-mindedness.


Tags: pranab mukherjee, rss, congress
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi