The Congress on Saturday slammed the NDA government accusing it of not showing respect to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary and took a jibe at the NDA regime for its enthusiasm to celebrate India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary saying that it showed the ruling party’s “desperation to borrow icons and heroes”.
“She (Indira Gandhi) was one of the tallest leaders of the times. The Prime Minister and his government have not shown any respect to her memory, which is surely deplorable. The office of the Prime Minister is a very high office and previous occupants have been magnanimous in accepting the contributions and sacrifices of their predecessors. It is unfortunate that… Narendra Modi has a narrow mindset and his thinking is distorted and contorted,” Congress spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters.
In his address before flagging off the ‘run for unity’, Modi did pay tributes to late Indira Gandhi saying that the day could also not be forgotten because of her “sacrifice”, but the opposition party was obviously not impressed with a one-line tribute, especially in the light of the large scale celebrations organised by the government on the occasion of Patel’s birth anniversary. The Congress also alleged that state broadcaster Doordarshan blacked out Indira Gandhi. Youth Congress organised protests outside Doordarshan office for not covering the functions to mark Indira’s “Day of Martyrdom”.
Sharma dismissed the ‘run for unity’ calling it “hypocrisy” in the backdrop of protests by artistes, writers and scientists over rising intolerance.