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At Vajpayee portrait unveiling, Congress invokes ex-PM to target PM Modi

A life-size portrait of Atal Bihar Vajpayee was unveiled at the Central Hall of Parliament by President Kovind on Tuesday.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2019 12:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Praising Vajpayee, Azad said there was no anger in his heart towards the opposition for the criticism of the former prime minister’s policy.
Praising Vajpayee, Azad said there was no anger in his heart towards the opposition for the criticism of the former prime minister’s policy.
         

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, invoked late BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in Parliament, where President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a portrait of the former prime minister on Tuesday. The portrait was unveiled at the Central Hall of Parliament.

Praising Vajpayee, Azad said there was “no anger” in his heart towards the opposition for the criticism of the former prime minister’s policy. “Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji will be remembered because there was criticism in his words for opposition but in his heart, there was no anger against opposition,” Azad was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Azad’s comment comes amid Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s repeated charge against the BJP-led government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that he would criticise the Narendra Modi regime in the severest manner but “harbours no anger towards them”.

Gandhi had made a speech to this effect in the Lok Sabha last year, when he famously walked up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hugged him. Gandhi said the Congress stands for “love” unlike the BJP and the RSS.

PM Modi, too, praised Vajpayee for keeping “public interest” as his top priority in politics. He said, “Atal Ji had a long political career, a large part of that career was spent in opposition. Yet, he continued raising issues of public interest and never ever deviated from his ideology.”

Vajpayee was the prime minister thrice between 1996 and 2004. Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Vajpayee passed away last year on August 16 following a prolonged illness.

At a meeting of Parliament’s Portrait Committee chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on December 18 last year, the decision to install Vajpayee’s portrait was taken. The leaders whose portraits are already in the Central Hall include former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

First Published: Feb 12, 2019 12:54 IST