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Pranab Mukherjee to be RSS’ back-up PM candidate, says Shiv Sena

Former president Pranab Mukherjee could be the consensus candidate for the Prime Minister’s post if the BJP fails to garner a majority in the 2019 general elections, the Shiv Sena said on Saturday.

There is talk in Delhi about such an agenda being behind the invitation to the Congress veteran to deliver a speech at an RSS event in Nagpur, said an edit in Saamna, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece.

It also hit out at the RSS, the ideological mentor of BJP, for having never invited former Sena chief, late Bal Thackeray on its forum, and trying to appease Muslims by holding iftar parties.

“Mukherjee only said things like love your country, respect diversity and live in harmony, and the RSS applauded his speech, Mukherjee did not find it necessary to touch on serious issues like the dissatisfaction within the judiciary, inflation and the explosion in unemployment that was affecting the common man.” the Saamna edit said.

The comments in the editorial of the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, comes at a time when all is not well between BJP and Sena, two days after Mukherjee attended an event of RSS in Nagpur on Thursday.

It argued that the real reason behind the bonhomie between a Congress man and the RSS would be clear only after the 2019 general election, when there was a real possibility of the BJP failing to gain a majority, resulting in a hung house.

Mukerjee’s visit to the RSS headquarters had evoked sharp responses, with several leaders of his party, including his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, criticising his decision. Slamming Congress for making a fool of itself in trying to stop Mukherjee’s visit, which, it said, “appeared to be a noiseless firecracker”, the Sena wondered why the RSS chose to invite the veteran leader, who holds Nehruvian ideologies close to his heart.

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