The RSS may project former president Pranab Mukherjee as a prime ministerial candidate if the BJP falls short of a majority in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and other parties refuse to back Narendra Modi for the post, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Sunday.
His speculation was, however, refuted by Mukherjee’s daughter, who said her father had no plans to return to active politics.
The Sena leader further said the RSS’s agenda behind inviting Mukherjee as the chief guest to one of its event, held in Nagpur on June 7, would only be clear after the 2019 general elections.
“The scenario prevalent in the country is such that the BJP will not win a majority in 2019. If there is a fractured mandate and other parties do not support Modi, Mukherjee will be projected as a prime ministerial candidate, who will be acceptable to all,” Raut told PTI.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Sena leader’s statement, the former president’s daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee tweeted: “Mr. Raut, after retiring as President of India, my father is NOT going to enter into active politics again”.
Raut said Mukherjee, during his address at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, was expected to speak on serious issues plaguing the country since the former president is also an economist.
“Pranab Mukherjee did not speak on serious issues plaguing the country. He also did not talk about the unrest in the judiciary. The government has been ineffective on the issues of price rise and unemployment. He did not mention these issues. As an economist, he was expected to speak on them,” he added.
The former president’s decision to address the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) “Shiksha Varg” and attend the organisation’s drill on June 7 did not go down well with the Congress leaders initially, though the party, later, lauded Mukherjee’s speech.