Amid the controversy over his visit to Nagpur, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday visited the birthplace of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, fondly called “Doctorji”.
The latest controversy has been triggered by Mukherjee’s post in the visitor’s book at Hedgewar’s birth place wherein he termed the RSS founder as a “great son of mother India”. The former president wrote in the visitor’s book: “Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India”.
He visited Hedgewar’s birthplace in Nagpur along with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Pictures and videos of the former president and the RSS founder also emerged on the social media.
Several political parties, including the Congress, have raised objections to the visit of the former President to RSS headquarters in Nagpur. Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee also took to Twitter on Wednesday to warn her father of the consequences of the visit.
She tweeted saying that he was giving the BJP and the Sangh a handle to plant false stories, as his "speech will be forgotten" but the "visuals will remain". She tweeted, “"Hope @CitiznMukherjee now realises from todays’ incident, how BJP dirty tricks dept operates. Even RSS wouldn’t believe that u r going 2 endorse its views in ur speech. But the speech will be forgotten, visuals will remain & those will be circulated with fake statements."
She further said, ".@CitiznMukherjee By going 2 Nagpur, u r giving BJP/RSS full handle 2 plant false stories, spread falls rumours as 2day & making it somewhat believable. And this is just d beginning!"
Veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel also took to Twitter to criticise Mukherjee’s visit, saying he “did not expect this from Pranab Da”.
Reacting to the controversy and criticism, Mukherjee had said that he would respond to all questions in Nagpur itself.