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Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter lashes out at him for RSS visit | India News

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NEW DELHI: A day before former President Pranab Mukherjee speaks at an RSS function in Nagpur, his daughter and Delhi Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee hit out at him, saying the Sangh Parivar is already calling his visit an endorsement of the saffron ideology.

She tweeted that BJP’s “dirty tricks department” is sure to use the footage of his address to Sangh volunteers at the RSS headquarters to spread false accounts and rumours.

In a surprise jibe — she has been silent on the controversy so far — Sharmistha said, “@CitiznMukherjee (Pranab Mukherjee’s Twitter handle), by going to Nagpur, you are giving BJP/RSS full handle to plant false stories, spread false rumours as today and making it somewhat believable. And this is just the beginning!”

The “rumours” pointed to speculation on Wednesday that Sharmistha is joining BJP, an account she strongly denied.

While countering that she would rather quit politics than leave Congress, Sharmistha used the incident as provocation to differ with her father in public.

“Even RSS wouldn’t believe that you are going to endorse its views in your speech. But the speech will be forgotten, visuals will remain and those will be circulated with fake statements,” she said.

The strong words from his daughter — even discounting, in advance, criticism that Mukherjee may direct at RSS on Thursday — caps a stream of censure directed at him by Congress functionaries over the past week.

Urging him to call off his visit to the RSS office, Congress functionaries have gone from expressing surprise to warning Mukherjee that he was reneging on his five decades of politics and convictions.

Sharmistha’s trenchant dissent stands out, given that it shows her as agreeing with the “shocked” Congress functionaries than with those who have “welcomed” Mukherjee’s decision to engage the ideological rival while urging him to hold a mirror to the “sectarian” RSS.

Some felt that public dissent from Sharmistha showed that Mukherjee did not have the family’s nod in visiting the RSS office. It only fuelled speculation about the “who and what” of the surprise decision.

Meanwhile, Congress circles are waiting with bated breath for Mukherjee’s speech. While nobody believes that he would even come close to agreeing with RSS, many hope that he would use strong words to slam “communalism” and “Hindutva”. They believe only a tongue-lashing would provide the “secular” camp with the handle to go back on the offensive against the RSS over the former President’s visit.

Updated: June 6, 2018 — 7:44 pm

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