Congress remembers only the Gandhi family, not Patel or Bose: Javadekar

Hitting back at the Congress, which accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of forgetting the death anniversary of former PM Indira Gandhi, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had always acknowledged the good work done by his predecessors, unlike Congress.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2016 23:29 IST
Congress,PM Narendra Modi,Gandhi family
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the Congress only knew the Gandhi family and did not remember other leaders during its long tenure at the Centre.(PTI File Photo)

Union minister Prakash Javadekar hit back at the Congress on Monday for accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of forgetting the death anniversary of former PM Indira Gandhi. on Monday

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi always acknowledged the good work done by his predecessors, unlike the Congress. Alleging that it did not remember leaders such as Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose and Lal Bahadur Shastri despite being in power for a long time, Javadekar said the party knew only “the Gandhi family”.

“(The) Congress was at the helm of power for several years, but did not remember Patel, Bose and Shastri and laud their contributions. The reason is that for Congress, they have only one family.

“Whenever I go to various parts of the country, I see institutes and projects being named after only one family.. that is Gandhi family. There are over 842 institutes, entities, projects and schemes which are named after one family,” Javadekar said while addressing party workers here.

“Why there are no projects, schemes and institutes named after Patel, Bose or Bhagat Singh? Why are no memorials built in their memory?” he asked.

Read | Modi wishes Gujarat on New Year, pays tribute to Indira Gandhi, Sardar Patel

“But we will build the memorial of Patel in Gujarat and continue to laud the efforts of all these great leaders,” he said.

Javadekar paid tributes to Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India, on his 141st birth anniversary.

Later, talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to observe Patel’s birth anniversary as ‘Ekta Diwas’, the Union HRD minister said, “Today, I heard Congress is criticising government for forgetting Indira Gandhi, but in reality the entire nation is paying tributes to her.

“Modiji has been lauding the efforts and good work of all the past PMs and Congress has never taken such a stance. Our government lauds the efforts and contribution of all leaders who had fought for freedom. We do not have any selective amnesia,” he said.

Javadekar said history would have been different if the “great unifier” of the country (Vallabhbhai Patel) had taken up the responsibility of Kashmir, which was then rested with Jawaharlal Nehru.

“Sardar Patel was a great unifier of the country and because of his efforts, we are living in a united country. People of India are now questioning Congress for not remembering leaders like Patel, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Lal Bahadur Shashtri,” he remarked.

“When did they (Congress) observe Patel’s death or birth anniversary?..They shouldn’t speak on such issue,” he said.

Read | In a first, govt organises ‘flash mob’ to mark Rashtriya Ekta Diwas in Mumbai

“Our government is lauding the efforts of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was known for his farsightedness but how can we forget the fact that it was Patel who united the country,” Javadekar said.

On the issue of schools being set on fire in Valley, the minister said that it was really sad that schools were being targeted.

“This shows the character and colour of separatists and terrorists. All those who are setting schools on fire are enemies of humanity and we condemn the barbaric act of these people.

“Over 25 schools are being set on fire, however, the common people of Kashmir and people of India will not fall prey to such acts as they will continue to learn.. they have hunger for education,” he said.

On the alleged encounter of eight SIMI men in Madhya Pradesh today and the doubts being raised over its “genuineness”, Javadekar said he would not speak on the issue as investigating agencies were yet to submit their report.

He said, “with such operation, henceforth, India will not tolerate terrorism.”

Javadekar accused the erstwhile Congress-led UPA dispensation of “not grating” permission to build memorial of Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj in Arabian sea for years.

“However, the NDA government granted the permission in record time,” he added.

First Published: Oct 31, 2016 23:29 IST