RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today said the Sangh considers affection for all an ideal, and that is why it felt no hesitation in inviting former President Pranab Mukherjee to its program.
"When he (Mukherjee) was with a party, he belonged to them (Congress), but when he became the President of the country, he belonged to the whole country," Mr Bhagwat said.
"We did not have any hesitation in inviting him, and he did not have any hesitation in coming. We all belong to one country, and we all should have 'Aatmiyata' for each other," he said.
The RSS's decision to invite the former president to address its volunteers last month, and the latter's decision to accept the invitation, had raised many eyebrows, with some Congress leaders criticising Mr Mukherjee.Mr Bhagwat was speaking at 'Prerna Vidyarthi Sammellan' organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).A book on the life of late Dattaji Didolkar, the founder of ABVP, was unveiled on the occasion.
Mr Bhagwat extolled Dattaji Didolkar as a selfless man who was accessible to everyone, and who had 'aatmiyata' (affection) towards everybody.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari was also present at the event. Mr Gadkari too spoke about his interactions with Dattaji Didolkar in his student days.
Sunil Ambekar, the national organising secretary of the ABVP, announced on the occasion that the organisation will be starting "Selfie With Campus", an outreach program, this month, aiming to cover one lakh college campuses.