It is a comparison that is bound to ruffle few feathers in his party.
Congress spokesman Mohan Prakash on Friday equated party general secretary Rahul Gandhi with socialist leader Jai Prakash Narayan who is remembered for spearheading a campaign against then PM Indira Gandhi, which led to the imposition of emergency in 1975.
“After Jai Prakash Narayan, Rahul Gandhi has addressed the needs, concerns and the future of the youth,” he said. The anti-emergency hero, popularly known as JP, was instrumental in forming the Janata Party, a broad coalition of leaders and parties opposed to Indira Gandhi, which became the first non-Congress party to form a government at the Centre in the 1977 elections.
However, he later clarified that his comparison of Rahul Gandhi with JP was in the context of Bihar where first of the six phases of polling was held on Thursday. The party is banking heavily on Gandhi magic to revive its fortune in Bihar where it has been out of power for the past two decades.
Prakash said after Gandhi’s tour to Bihar that all the parties opposed to the Congress have attacked him though he talked about the future of the youth and development of the state.
Rahul, on his part, continued kept up the anti-Nitish fervour. Addressing rallies at Belsand in Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur, which are going to the polls in the second phase on October 24, he asked people not to compare the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government with the Lalu Prasad government of the RJD.
“If you have to compare Bihar under Nitish, compare it with Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.”
The reason is: “That way, any government will look better. Even the poorest of the African nations can fare better in comparison to the RJD regime.”
(With inputs from Belsand, Muzaffarpur)