Pranab Mukherjee hails RSS founder Hedgewar as ‘great son of India’
Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday visited the birthplace of Kehsav Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and hailed him as “a great son of Mother India”.
“Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India,” Mukherjee wrote in the visitor’s book ahead of his speech at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur.
The Hedgewar home was also the venue of the first ever meeting of the RSS which he founded in September 1925.
Mukherjee, who was accorded a warm welcome by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters, was shown around the Hedgewar memorial premises which includes a small temple.
Mukherjee, a Congress veteran, is in Nagpur to address the RSS cadre at the organisation’s final leg of three-year training programme called the ‘Tritiya Varsh Varg’.
Congress leaders, including Pranab’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, expressed displeasure at the former President’s visiting the RSS headquarters in Nagpur.
His “speech will be forgotten” but the “visuals will remain”, she said on Twitter, expressing hope that the former president would realise how the BJP’s “dirty tricks department” works and warned him of the consequences of attending such a meet.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who is UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s close confidante, voiced his view on Twitter, in reply to Mukherjee’s daughter who spoke out against the decision of the former President to address an RSS event. “I did not expect this from Pranab da!” Patel said in his one line tweet.
Another Congress leader Anand Sharma said the images of Pranab Mukherjee at RSS HQ have anguished millions of Congress workers and those who believe in pluralism and diversity.