NEW DELHI: The Congress and the RSS seem to have found themselves on same unlikely page for the second time in as many days. Both organisations, which see each other as existential foes, on Friday strongly condemned fake viral images showing former President Pranab Mukherjee performing an 'RSS salute'.
The Congress had earlier in the day tweeted its displeasure over the doctored images doing the rounds. The fake image had gone viral despite the fact that numerous videos of Mukherjee taking part in the event at the RSS headquarters were available online.
"Within a few hours of @CitiznMukherjee's speech at the RSS HQ, Sangh Brotherhood's photoshop factories were back to their old tradition of trying to appropriate Congress leaders," read the tweet from the Congress, which placed the blame for the manipulation squarely at the feet of Sangh outfits.
Within a few hours of @CitiznMukherjee's speech at the RSS HQ, Sangh Brotherhood's photoshop factories were back to their old tradition of trying to appropriate Congress leaders. pic.twitter.com/16qawDps7M
— Congress (@INCIndia) June 8, 2018
However, this turned out to be one of those rare instances when the Congress found the RSS agreeing with something it said. RSS deputy chief Manmohan Vaidya issued a statement condemning the image as well.
"Some divisive political forces have posted a morphed photo of former president of Bharat Dr. Pranab Mukherjee standing in a prayer position with a folded hand during recitation of Sangha Prarthana at yesterday's RSS function at Nagpur… We denounce and strongly condemn such dirty tricks by these divisive political forces to deliberately defame RSS," read the statement
Press Statement Issued by Dr.Manmohan Vaidya, Sah Sarkaryavah of Sangh, in the context of a morphed photo of Sh Pranab Mukherjee posted by some divisive political forces. https://t.co/LmxyWLyCqF
— RSS (@RSSorg) June 8, 2018
"These forces initially tried to create an opposition to make Dr Mukherjee refrain from attending this function. And now these frustrated forces are doing all such dirty tricks to defame RSS," Vaidya added.
Mukherjee made history of sorts when he appeared on stage at the RSS headquarters, arguably becoming the first Congress leader to do so. The Congress was not at all pleased with his acceptance of the RSS invitation, with the former First Citizen also attracting criticism from his own daughter and Congress member Sharmistha Mukherjee. The Congress was forced to flip-flop into praising its veteran after his speech.
BJP veteran LK Advani too praised Mukherjee's participation and speech at the RSS.