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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Modi, top BJP leaders pay homage to ex-PM Rao on birth anniversary

The barrage of praise for Rao comes a day after Modi criticized the Congress party for only highlighting the achievements of its first family.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2019 02:30 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ex-PMs Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao pictured together in June 1994.
Ex-PMs Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao pictured together in June 1994.(Sanjay Sharma/HT)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders hailed late PM Narasimha Rao (of the Congress) on the latter’s birth anniversary on Friday, signalling the beginning of an attempt to appropriate the legacy of a man responsible for ushering in economic reforms and who was also ignored by the Congress in his later years. The barrage of praise for Rao comes a day after Modi criticized the Congress party for only highlighting the achievements of its first family.

“Remembering Shri PV Narasimha Rao Ji on his birth anniversary. A great scholar and veteran administrator, he led the nation at a crucial juncture of our history. He will be remembered for taking pioneering steps that contributed to national progress,” Modi tweeted from Osaka.

Union minister and first time MP Pratap Sarangi described Rao as a “great scholar and veteran administrator” while minister Hardeep Puri said Rao was a “son of the soil, who was deeply rooted in the spiritual & religious culture of India, dismantled the licence raj and paved way for economic liberalisation.”

As the BJP leaders showered praise on Rao, the late PM’s grandson NV Subhash, now affiliated with the party said, “After the Congress’s 1996 debacle, he (Rao) was sidelined due to many issues, which were not concerned with his policies. The Congress party thought that if anyone apart from Gandhi-Nehru family continues then they themselves would not be noticed.” He demanded an apology from the Congress.

A senior Congress leader who worked with Rao said, “Modi has been trying to create a rift in our ranks as it helps his divisive politics. Congress acknowledges the contribution of Rao. We don’t need Modi to tell us the importance of our Prime ministers.”

First Published: Jun 29, 2019 02:30 IST

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