Free Press Journal

No problem in Pranab’s presence at RSS function: Natwar Singh


 New Delhi : Former union minister K Natwar Singh has joined a small band of politicians backing former President Pranab Mukherjee to speak at the RSS annual event in Nagpur on Thursday.

He said Mukherjee would not have decided on his ‘Nagpur Safari’ without deep thought and mature consideration. He is more than acquainted with the activities and philosophy, noting how he had invited RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for a lunch at the Rashtrapati Bhawan when in power. Pointing out that he too initially had reservations, Singh said on second thought he jettisoned them as the RSS is not a banned organisation and it has given India a remarkable Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister while the serving PM is also a product of the RSS.

“Let me give the former President the benefit of doubt. I expect him to make a statesmanlike speech, highlighting the pluralistic and secular strengths of our democracy. On the whole, his Nagpur venture will inflict no serious harm on our policy,” he said.

Notwithstanding the consternation in the Congress camp over his Nagpur trip, Mukherjee told Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika on Sunday that he would not react as “whatever I have to say, I will say in Nagpur,” noting that he had received several letters and phone calls but he hasn’t responded to anyone yet.