Former President Pranab Mukherjee will on June 7 visit the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Nagpur where he will address the activists of the right-wing outfit. According to media reports, an invitation was extended to Mukherjee to address the RSS’s third-year camp for members studying to qualify as pracharaks which he has accepted.
An official from Mukherjee’s office confirmed that he will go to Nagpur to attend the event. “He will spend two days in Nagpur and return on June 8,” the official said.
Mukherjee was associated with the Congress for very long before being elected as the President in 2012. Considered a troubleshooter for the party, Mukherjee had held key portfolios in the Central government in many Congress-led governments.
Hindustan Times citied another official privy to the developments as saying that Mukherjee has enjoyed a good rapport with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for several years despite differences in ideology and the group’s inclination towards the BJP. The official said that during his stint as the President, Mukherjee had invited Bhagwat two-three times at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He said that the interaction between the two was not related to the politics but are centric to India’s culture and philosophical issues.
After BJP’s drubbing in the Bihar Assembly polls in 2015, Bhagawat had visited Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, triggering speculation of the purpose behind the meeting in the political arena. However, officials had at that time said that it was a courtesy visit.
The RSS organises training camps across the country during the summer. The final-year camp – Truteeya Varsh Sangh Shiksha Varg, is held in Nagpur ever year. Volunteers who attend the first and second camps are eligible to attend the final-year camp. Only those who attend the Nagpur camp can become full-time pracharaks.