Cong, NDA war escalates over Nehru’s birth anniversary

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2014 00:26 IST

There’s a full scale political war between the BJP and the Congress over Jawaharlal Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary.

No NDA ministers went to pay tribute at Nehru’s samadhi Shanti Van after the Congress purposely did not invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi at its functions. Last month, the union ministers skipped the functions at Indira Gandhi’s Samadhi on her martyrdom day.

Modi tweeted from Australia, “Today we mark the 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. My tributes to him.” His cabinet colleagues, meanwhile, slammed the Congress for politicizing the occasion.

Inaugurating the government’s functions Home minister Rajnath Singh Friday pointed out that the first PM had no animosity to his ideological opponents and had invited RSS to participate in the Republic Day parade in 1963.

Congress was represented in the function by Mallikarjun Kharge who is party’s leader in Lok Sabha.

Singh was reacting to Congress VP Rahul Gandhi’s comments about “angry” people ruling India.

Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu said “it is unfortunate that the Congress wanted to appropriate Nehru's legacy despite its governments being cradles of corruption.” BJP minister Jitendra Singh said that Congress has turned the Nehru event into a family affair by not inviting the PM.

Congress leader Salman Khurshid, however, maintained that there’s nothing wrong in not inviting Modi for Congress’ functions.

Modi also tweeted, “We remember Pandit Nehru's efforts during the freedom struggle and his role as the first PM.”

The government launched its Swachh Bal abhiyan. The two sides are now gearing up for seminars. While the Congress has invited international and senior non-NDA leaders, the government’s seminars are headed by eminent Indians.

Rajnath Singh later said, "We did not support Nehru's Kashmir policy. Many people did not support his policy on China. But no one can deny his significant contribution to nation building."

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