‘Pranab Mukherjee Foundation’ not to collaborate with RSS in Haryana

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New Delhi | Published: September 1, 2018 11:03:13 AM

Former President Pranab Mukherjee's office has categorically denied reports suggesting that his 'Pranab Mukherjee Foundation' may collaborate with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Haryana.

Pranab Mukherjee Foundation, RSS, Gurugram, Pranab Mukherjee RSS, Manohar Lal Khattar‘Pranab Mukherjee Foundation’ not to collaborate with RSS in Haryana

Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s office has categorically denied reports suggesting that his ‘Pranab Mukherjee Foundation’ may collaborate with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Haryana. In a statement issued on Friday evening, Mukherjee’s office said that all such reports doing the rounds are not correct. It said that the former President will be visiting Gurugram in Haryana on September 2 at the invitation of the state government where he will inaugurate several projects started during the last two years under the ‘Smartgram Project’.

It noted that the ‘Smartgram Project’ in Haryana was started in July 2016, when Pranab Mukherjee had adopted some villages as the serving President.

“There have been reports in certain sections of the media suggesting that the Pranab Mukherjee Foundation (PMF) may collaborate with RSS in Haryana. It is categorically clarified that there is neither any existing collaboration, nor is there any such move in the offing,” the statement reads.

On Sunday, Mukherjee will share the dais with Haryana CM Manohar Lal to launch a series of projects under the ‘Smartgram Project’. As per the schedule, he will be visiting Harchandpur and Nayagaon (both in Gurgugram) to launch training and innovation warehouses and set up water ATMs. Besides, Mukherjee will also be meeting entrepreneurs and sarpanchs of both villages.

“He (Pranab Mukherjee) will be visiting Gurgaon at the invitation of the government of Haryana on September 2, 2018 to inaugurate projects started during the last two years along with ML Khattar, the Chief Minister,” it added.

The Pranab Mukherjee Foundation was jointly launched by the former president and noted industrialist Ratan Tata in March this year. According to the foundation director Omita Paul, who had served as Pranab Mukherjee’s presidential secretary, the mission is to initiate, support and execute projects that will create and use knowledge, creativity and innovation to improve the quality of life in rural, semi-urban and urban areas.

A few months ago, the former President’s decision to accept an invitation extended to him by the RSS and his subsequent presence at its event in Nagpur had triggered a major controversy with many opposition leaders including that of Congress criticising him.

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