Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter and Delhi Mahila Congress president Sharmistha Mukherjee on June 6 on Twitter expressed her unhappiness with her father’s decision to accept an invitation to address RSS cadres on June 7 in Nagpur, after rumours circulated that she was joining the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“In the mountains enjoying a beautiful sunset, and suddenly this news that I’m supposedly joining BJP hits like a torpedo! Can’t there be some peace and sanity in this world? I joined politics because I believe in Congress. Would rather leave politics than leave Congress,” said Sharmistha in a tweet.
Sharmistha also retweeted Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken’s tweet, in which he dismissed the rumours circulating about her joining BJP, saying Sharmistha is a devoted Congress person and firmly believes in the party’s ideology. Maken said Sharmistha told him that she is in politics just because of her firm faith in the ideology of the Congress Party.
Sharmistha’s father Pranab Mukherjee, before becoming President of India in 2012, was a long-serving Congress MP and Union Minister. Pranab became a Congress Rajya Sabha MP for the first time in 1969, in a career spanning nearly five decades. Her brother Abhijit Mukherjee is the Congress MP for Jangipur in West Bengal.
Pranab Mukherjee has faced criticism from several quarters for accepting the RSS invitation to address its cadres, arguing that a secular, liberal politician like him should avoid any association with the RSS, which wants to establish a Hindu Rashtra. Others have defended the former President’s acceptance of the invite on the grounds that a dialogue between different political ideologies is welcome.
Now, Pranab’s daughter has made her unhappiness with his decision very public, which she said will make false rumours such as the one about her joining BJP “somewhat believable”. Sharmistha also cautioned her father that visuals of him with RSS cadres in Nagpur would be misused to circulate false rumours. “Hope @CitiznMukherjee now realises from todays’ incident, how BJP dirty tricks department operates. Even RSS wouldn’t believe that you are going to endorse its views in your speech. But the speech will be forgotten, visuals will remain and those will be circulated with fake statements. By going to Nagpur, you are giving BJP/RSS full handle to plant false stories, spread false rumours as today and making it somewhat believable. And this is just the beginning!” said Sharmistha. Pranab Mukherjee uses the Twitter handle @CitiznMukherjee ever since he retired as President.
*This article was updated at 10.02 pm on June 6, 2018 to correct Abhijit Mukherjee’s name