NEW DELHI: Union minister Smriti Irani launched a blistering attack at Congress President Sonia Gandhi for delivering a “conceited” and “partisan” speech underscoring the contribution of Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Quit India movement on Wednesday.
Describing the address as a “pitiable lament” bemoaning the reversal in fortune the Nehru dynasty suffered post the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Irani hit out at Gandhi for her exclusivist take on history which focused only on the achievements of the Congress party and omitted the mention of other revolutionaries who fought for the country’s independence.
“Sonia Gandhi’s address, unfortunately, smacked of a deeply self-righteous tone. It attributed greatness only to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, whose family she belongs to. Her partisan approach was obvious in the exclusion of the names of both Subhas Chandra Bose and Vallabhbhai Patel from her speech,” Irani wrote in a Facebook post.
The BJP leader went on to say the Congress chief’s speech was in stark contrast to the one delivered by PM Narendra Modi, which Irani called “forward-looking, positive, unifying and gracious… as the occasion demanded.” She pointed out that PM Modi had paid tribute to not only Mahatma Gandhi, but also to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose and the women who played a significant role in the Quit India movement.
“Bent upon proving that blood is thicker than water, she (Sonia Gandhi) dwelt at length only on Nehru and his stint in jail. Such assertions that challenge the memory and sense of history of Indians are entirely conceited and inward-looking,” the cabinet minister added.
Irani’s salvo at Sonia Gandhi may be in response to the latter’s veiled jibe at the BJP’s ideological mentor RSS earlier in the day, saying some organisations had opposed the Quit India movement and played no role in the freedom struggle.
She had also expressed concern over “attacks on democracy” by “communal and repressive forces” in the country.
“We can and will not allow the idea of India to be a prisoner to narrow mindedness, divisive and communal ideology. If we have to preserve freedom, we will have to defeat the forces endangering it. We can’t and we won’t allow sectarian forces to succeed,” Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha earlier.