After taking part in a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) event at its Nagpur headquarters, former president and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday shared the dais with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar during the inauguration of Smartgram Yojana in Gurugram. This came just two days after Mukherjee’s office denied reports of his foundation’s possible collaboration with RSS in Haryana.
“There have been reports in certain sections of the media suggesting that the Pranab “Mukherjee Foundation (PMF) may collaborate with RSS in Haryana”. It is categorically clarified that there is neither any existing collaboration nor is there any such move in the offing,” a statement issued by Mukherjee’s office stated.
Under the Smartgram Yojana, which was started by Haryana government in July 2016, Mukherjee had adopted villages in Alipur, Daula, Harchandpur, Tajpur and Roz Ka Meo (in Mewat) to improve infrastructure for the rural population.
“The Smartgram Project in Haryana started in July 2016, when Shri Pranab Mukherjee adopted some villages as the serving President and he will be visiting Gurgaon at the invitation of the Government of Haryana on September 2, 2018 to inaugurate projects started during the last two years along with Shri M L Khattar, the CM of Haryana,” it added.
Earlier in June, dressed in white dhoti-kurta and black sleeveless jacket, and donning a serious look, Mukherjee had delivered the valedictory speech at the concluding session of the RSS in Nagpur. The move shocked many, including his daughter Sharmistha, who had urged him to reconsider his decision.