Pranab Mukherjee "Reminded Modi Government Of Rajdharma", Says Congress

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said former President Pranab Mukherjee has reminded RSS about "India's pluralism, tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness as an article of faith and soul of the country".

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Former President Pranab Mukherjee said we derive our strength from tolerance at the RSS event


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Happiness of people is the happiness of ruler, Pranab Mukherjee said
  2. Pranab Mukherjee has "shown 'Mirror of Truth' to RSS": Congress
  3. Congress leaders had earlier disapproved of him going for RSS meet
After days of disapproval from its individual leaders about Pranab Mukherjee's decision to attend a function of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Congress today said the former President has "shown the 'Mirror of Truth' to the RSS". Mr 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 party that has been his home for five decades.

At a press conference held minutes after Mr Mukherjee's address at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said he 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 Mr Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, served barbed comments at the former President. Their contention -- the optics of his appearance at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur will hand a powerful political weapon to the BJP to denigrate the Congress.  
 
Tagging Sharmistha Mukherjee's tweet, Ahmed Patel tweeted:
 
And today, after Mr Mukherjee's visit to the RSS headquarters, Anand Sharma, another Congress leader who had tried to dissuade Mr Mukherjee from the visit, 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 has refused to answer questions, saying he would say his piece only at the event, delivered a strong message this evening. In a half-hour speech, he 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 Mukherjee's acceptance of the RSS invite was an endorsement of the need for dialogue. The Congress leaders' concern was evidence of small-mindedness.


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