Going against the party stand, Karnataka Congress leader and former Railway Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief has backed RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat for President, saying there “should not be any doubt about his patriotism.” He has also written to the Prime Minister backing Bhagwat.
“I personally believe nobody should find fault with Mohan Bhagwat’s name being considered as a choice for the Presidentship of our country,” Sharief said in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“There are different schools of thoughts in India and it is but natural for such a vast country. Mohan Bhagwat may belong to one school of thought, but there should not be any doubt about his patriotism, love for the people of India, loyalty to the nation,” Sharief said in letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sharief exhorted all minorities, including Muslims, not to have “any fear or crisis of confidence” in Bhagwat’s name being considered for the post.
The Congress has made it clear that it would block any move to make Bhagwat the President. “It is very clear that we do not support RSS ideology,” Congress Spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi had said.
BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, had earlier this week said that Bhagwat as India’s next President was a good idea. “Somebody with a clean image should occupy it. We have heard that Mohan Bhagwat’s name is being discussed for President. If India has to be made a Hindu Rashtra, Bhagwat will be a good choice for President,” Sena’s Sanjay Raut had said.
Bhagwat has however, dismissed speculation that he could run for President elections to be held later this year, saying he considers such talk “entertainment.” President Pranab Mukherjee’s five-year term ends on July 24 this year.