The Shiv Sena on Sunday claimed that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) may project former president Pranab Mukherjee as its Prime Minister candidate if the BJP failed to secure the majority in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“We feel RSS is preparing itself for a situation where it might put forth Pranab Mukherjee ji as PM name if the BJP failed to get required numbers,” ANI quoted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut as saying.
Raut also said that the BJP will lose a minimum of 110 seats in the forthcoming general elections. The Shiv Sena leader’s remark came days after Mukherjee attended an RSS event at its Nagpur headquarters.
Reacting to Raut's remarks, Pranab Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha rebutted the claims reminding the Sena leader that her father has quit active politics.
On June 7, the Congress veteran delivered a valedictory speech at the concluding session of the RSS’s Tritiya Varsh Sangh Shiksha Varg in Nagpur.
During his address, the former president gave a lecture on nationalism and said that “intolerance will only dilute our national identity and hatred will lead to dilution of nationalism.”
“I am convinced that nationalism can only come out of the ideological fusion of Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and other groups in India,” he had said.
Mukherjee, who was part of the Congress cabinet that banned RSS twice in 1975 and 1992, drew flak from the Congress party and his own daughter Sharmistha, who warned him against attending the event.
While Congress leader Manish Tewari termed Mukherjee's RSS visit an attempt to mainstream the controversial Hindutva organisation, his own daughter said his visuals of attending the event will be used to spread false propaganda.