New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriach L. K. Advani on Friday described former President Pranab Mukherjee attending the RSS programme at its headquarters in Nagpur his “grace and goodwill” and said it was a significant event in the countrys contemporary history.
“Yesterday’s (Thursday) visit by Mukherjee, to the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and his illuminating exposition of the noble idea and ideals of Indian nationalism, are a significant event in our country’s contemporary history,” he said in a statement here.
Advani also hailed RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat for inviting Mukherjee to address the swayamsevaks who completed the third year of training this year. “I also heartily congratulate Mukherjee for his grace and goodwill in accepting the invitation,” the BJP leader said.
Advani remarks came a day after Mukherjee addressed its cadre in Nagpur. The former President’s decision to accept the RSS invite had drawn a lot of flak from several Congress leaders — and his daughter. “There was significant concord and resonance in the views expressed by both leaders. Both of them highlighted the essential unity of India, which accepts and respects all diversities including the pluralism of faiths,” said Advani, who is also a Lok Sabha member from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar constituency.
He asserted that as a lifelong swayamsevak of the RSS, “I believe that these two national leaders have truly set a praiseworthy example of dialogue transcending ideological affiliations and differences”. Praising Mukherjee, Advani said, “I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing, and working closely with, Pranab Babu in and outside Parliament.
“His own reflective nature, combined with his long and varied experience in public life, have made him a statesman who strongly believes in the necessity of dialogue and cooperation among people of various ideological and political backgrounds,” the BJP leader said.
Advani, who has served as the BJP president for the longest period, expressed his happiness over the RSS Chief for expanding and intensifying its efforts to reach out to various sections of the nation in the spirit of dialogue. “Such conversations, conducted in the spirit of openness and mutual respect, will surely help in creating a much-needed atmosphere of tolerance, harmony and cooperation to build an India of our common dreams,” Advani added.