Former President Pranab Mukherjee with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the event in Nagpur.
Days after former President Pranab Mukherjee made his maiden address at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said the organisation may project Mukherjee as a prime ministerial candidate in case the BJP falls short of a majority in the Lok Sabha elections next year.
However, Raut’s speculation was immediately countered by the Congress veteran’s daughter, Sharmistha Mukherjee, who clarified that her father will not join politics once he retires.
While claiming that the motive behind the RSS inviting the former president would be clear only after next year’s general elections, Raut said, “The scenario prevalent in the country is such that the BJP will not win a majority in 2019. If there is a fractured mandate and other parties do not support Modi, Mukherjee will be projected as a prime ministerial candidate who will be acceptable to all.”
Reacting to the Shiv Sena leader’s remarks, Sharmistha posted on Twitter: “Mr. Raut, after retiring as President of India, my father is NOT going to enter into active politics again.”
Mr. Raut, after retiring as President of India, my father is NOT going to enter into active politics again https://t.co/WJmmZx5g1y
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) June 10, 2018
The former president’s acceptance of the Hindu organisation’s invitation to the event on November 7 had kicked up a massive storm among Congress leaders who said images of the former president at the RSS headquarters had anguished millions of party workers and those who believe in pluralism and diversity of the Indian republic. However, extending his support to the Congress veteran, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said it is the RSS’s tradition to invite eminent persons to their functions and said the debate surrounding the visit was uncalled for.