Senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao today said former President Pranab Mukherjee should withdraw his decision to attend an RSS event as chief guest “in the interest of secularism”.
Mukherjee, who had held the highest post of President, should not attend the meeting of RSS as it is a “communal” organisation, the AICC Secretary and former Rajya Sabha member said.
“I am requesting him that he should withdraw,” Rao said.
He said Mukherjee was a senior Congress leader who has been held in high esteem by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
“Their (RSS) thinking is Hindutva. They are not secular. They want ‘Hindu desh’. How he (Mukherjee) can go? In this country, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, everybody is there… So my request is he should rethink (his decision to attend the RSS meet) and he should not go,” he said.
Rao also said he would write to Mukherjee in this regard.
Mukherjee, who has been a Congress veteran, has been invited to be the chief guest at the valedictory function of Sangh Shiksha Varg — a training camp for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers — at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, scheduled on June 7.
The former president has accepted the invitation, an RSS functionary said recently.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari had yesterday welcomed Mukherjee’s decision to attend the event, saying the RSS was an organisation of nationalists and any kind of “political untouchability” is not good.