Nagpur: Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday described Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder K B Hedgewar as a ‘great son of Mother India’.
In the visitor’s book at Hedgewar’s birthplace in Nagpur, Pranab Mukherjee wrote, “Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India.”
Mukherjee was welcomed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and will address the valedictory function of the RSS’s third-year officers’ training camp at its headquarters in Reshimbagh shortly.
A political slugfest had erupted earlier after Mukherjee accepted an invite from the RSS to be the chief guest at its ‘Tritiya Varsha Sangh Shiksha Varg’ (cadres training program).
Several Congress leaders urged him to reconsider, while others said his visit would create an “undesirable difference” in the country.
The RSS said the former president’s acceptance of their invitation indicated his “greatness”.
Mukherjee had earlier said he will reveal his thoughts at the event itself.
Mahatma Gandhi, former president Zakir Husain, activist Jayaprakash Narayan and commander-in-chief of the Indian Army, Kodandera M. Cariappa had previously been guests at various RSS events.