- RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will address the event, sources say
- The event will reportedly focus on "India of the future"
- Other opposition leaders like Sitaram Yechury are also set to be invited
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is likely to invite its sharpest critic, Rahul Gandhi, to its event next month, say sources.
The event, a lecture series, will be held between September 17 and 19 at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.
Apart from the Congress president, several other opposition leaders, like Sitaram Yechury of the Left, are also likely to be invited.The Sangh wants to invite people representing different ideologies, sources say.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will address the lecture series on the "Future of Bharat: An RSS perspective" and present the Sangh's views on "contemporary views of national importance", said Arun Kumar, an RSS leader.
Asked about the possible invite to Rahul Gandhi, Mr Kumar replied: "It is our prerogative to choose who to invite or not. Leave this to us... But people from all walks of life, including from different political outfits, ideologies and religions, will be invited."
In June, the Congress was extremely upset when former president Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran leader of the party, attended an event at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and addressed workers.
Though Rahul Gandhi never officially commented on the invite to Pranab Mukherjee, there were multiple tweets from party leaders expressing disappointment with "Pranab da". After the former president's speech, however, the Congress said Mr Mukherjee was able to show a mirror to the RSS.
The RSS is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP and is a frequent target of attacks from Rahul Gandhi. In his latest comments made in London, the Congress chief said the RSS's idea was "similar to the idea of the Muslim brotherhood in the Arab world" and went on to draw parallels. The comparison provoked a furious response from the BJP, which demanded an immediate apology and called the Congress chief "immature".
Mr Gandhi also accused the RSS of trying to change the nature of India and capture its institutions. At another event in London, the 47-year-old said the RSS had helped him tremendously to develop as a political leader by "relentlessly attacking him".