G Krishnamohan Rao

New Delhi: Former president Pranab Mukherjee's decision to attend the RSS meet in Nagpur on June 7, is snowballing into a major political controversy and leading to various speculations—so much so that he could be a dark horse for prime ministership.

What exactly Pranab Mukherjee has in mind and why he chose to attend the RSS meet at this point of time, is really intriguing, when the opposition parties are uniting against the "communal" polarisation of the BJP. Mukherjee during his more than 50 years of political life, never identified with BJP or its philosophy.

It is being pointed out that when Sangh Pariwar is damaging the Indian "pluralism" and "secular fabric" and leading to "minority isolation and fear", why is Pranab Mukherjee conveying the message that RSS is not politically untouchable?

When elections are fast approaching and the country is being "polarised", why did Mukherjee choose this forum has become a point of debate in political circles.

Given Mukherjee's stature, nobody wants to target him directly. Not only Congress but all the secular parties and the Left are tight-lipped. Since Mukherjee is no longer a political member of any party, one should give benefit of doubt and wait to see what he does at the event.

Since the Sangh Pariwar is behind the union government and controls more than 20 states, Mukherjee must have felt the need for a dialogue with them as he is going to address the RSS trainees, said a union minister from AP.

A senior Congressman and former union minister from Hyderabad maintains that when Mukherjee is nearing 83 and sending out a political message from Nagpur saying he has not retired from politics, it would be "his funeral."

Sources say that having served four generations of the Gandhis and enjoyed political power and pelf before he was elevated to the office of President in 2012, Mukherjee’s move does hurt the grand old party.

Even as some of the news channels speculate over a grand conspiracy, a few old congressmen are holding it as truly unfair on part of Mukherjee and his speech would indicate whether he has moved away from the Congress ideology.

Interestingly, more than the Congress, it is the Left leaders who maintain that Mukherjee is sagacious and would speak in the tone of Nehruvian pluralism, unity in diversity and peaceful coexistence. So, one need not jump the gun since the country knows Pranab Mukherjee.

On the other side, the latest issue of an RSS magazine "Organiser" reads: “Eminent personalities like Jayaprakash Narayan, Sarvodaya leader Prabhakar Rao, Justice K T Thomas and noted scientists G Madhavan nair, K Radhakrishnan and K Kasturirangan had attended Sangh programmes.”