Pranab's gameplan: Former president to address RSS cadres in Nagpur

Pranab Mukherjee
Former president Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest at the valedictory function at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur on June 7. As President of India, Mukherjee had hosted RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2017. According to sources, he continues to meet people, including RSS activists, at his new residence at Rajaji Marg in Lutyens Delhi. The Congress, however, finds itself in a tricky situation. Party chief Rahul Gandhi has been attacking the RSS, even as many within the party have advised him not to. Some in the RSS have also reached out to Gandhi in the last few months. On Tuesday, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan's response on Mukherjee visiting the RSS headquarters was a cryptic “No comments”. He said since the event is yet to happen he would not comment on it and the Congress would formulate its thoughts once the event takes place. However, speculation is rife about Mukherjee's move and its impact on politics after the 2019 polls. 

Odisha IAS officers miffed

An association representing IAS officers in Odisha has accused Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan of “personally targeting” a senior officer. A memorandum submitted to state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, referred to an alleged incident that took place on May 28, at the inauguration of the National Data Centre of NIC, Bhubaneswar, wherein the minister allegedly targeted state IT secretary, Ashok Meena. The memorandum said, “Recent episodes in the state and other parts of the country wherein officers, while discharging their professional duties, have been personally attacked by senior members of political executive was a direct attempt to defy constitutional values.” 

Men in uniform

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced that party chief Amit Shah would be meeting former Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag on Tuesday morning. It said Shah would visit Suhag at the latter’s residence in Gurgaon as part of the BJP’s ‘sampark for samarthan’ campaign. When journalists reached the Gurgaon address on Tuesday morning, they — as well as the occupant of the house — were in for a shock. The house belonged to retired army man Bhim Singh Suhag. The confusion was resolved when this news reached BJP leaders. Shah eventually met Dalbir Singh Suhag at his residence in Army cantonment in Delhi, which the former Army chief continues to occupy as his house, incidentally also in Gurgaon, is under construction. When asked whether he would follow his predecessor V K Singh into politics, the former Army chief was non-committal.

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