Kolkata, June 25 (IANS) Former President Pranab Mukherjee's presence at a recent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) event has worked as a catalyst in boosting the organisation's membership that is already on the rise across the country, a senior RSS leader said here on Monday."Pranab Mukherjee is the former Indian President and a veteran politician. So his presence at the RSS event on June 7 certainly evoked a lot of interest among people."The membership in RSS is already on the rise in the country for the good work it has been doing. Mukherjee's visit has also worked as one of the reasons for the increase in membership applications," RSS General Secretary (South Bengal), Jishnu Basu told reporters here.He said the organisation had been receiving 378 membership applications on an average per day from all over India till early June, but got 1,779 applications on June 7, the day Mukherjee attended the event at the RSS' Nagpur headquarters. There has been a significant spike in membership since then.However, he refused to accept that Mukherjee's speech from a RSS platform was the only reason for more people joining the organisation.Basu said the growth of the RSS in West Bengal is significantly higher compared to other states in recent months as it has been the only platform that is consistently fighting against the rising fundamentalism and atrocities against political opponents in the state."The RSS membership in Bengal is among one of the highest in the country. Bengal has consistently been in the first or second position in the Join RSS portal in recent months," he said.RSS south Bengal Prachar Pramukh Biplob Roy said: "People across India want to join RSS as it has been working for the last 92 years to strengthen the country and keep its people together."It is the same in Bengal. That's why nearly 40 per cent of the membership applications we receive from across the country are from Bengal." He also said the number of RSS 'shakhas' has increased from 300 to over 400 in north Bengal over the last one year. In south Bengal the number has gone up from 850 to more than 1,200.
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