Pranab Mukherjee shares stage with CM Khattar in Haryana

Gurugram: Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday shared the stage with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for the inauguration of projects under the Smartgram Yojona.

This comes two days after the former president had issued a statement denying reports of his foundation’s collaboration with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Haryana.

Taking to Twitter, Mukherjee’s office issued a statement, writing, “There have been reports in certain sections of the media suggesting that the Pranab “Mukherjee Foundation (PMF) may collaborate with RSS in Haryana”. It is categorically clarified that there is neither any existing collaboration nor is there any such move in the offing.”

“The Smartgram Project in Haryana started in July 2016, when Shri Pranab Mukherjee adopted some villages as the serving President and he will be visiting Gurgaon at the invitation of the Government of Haryana on September 2, 2018 to inaugurate projects started during the last two years along with Shri M L Khattar, the CM of Haryana,” the statement added.

Under the scheme, Pranab Mukherjee had adopted five villages in 2016, when he was still the President.

The SmarTgram pilot project was launched by the former president in the presence of Union Rural Development Minister and Haryana Haryana Chief Minister Khattar on July 2, 2016. Subsequently, on July 3 and July 4, 2016, gram sabha meetings were held in each of the five villages to formulate a village development plan (VDP).

Reflecting on the same, the Haryana Chief Minister said, “The culture of our nation comes from our villages. It is true that cities are ahead when it comes to development. I would be grateful to former president Pranab Mukherjee for his dedication towards development in villages.”

A smart gram will have the required basic physical and social infrastructure with a layer of smart information and communication embedded in the infrastructure to improve governance and delivery of services, livelihood, and economic opportunities.