Tit for tat: Why Rahul Gandhi visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s samadhi | India News

NEW DELHI: After accusations that the BJP was attempting to appropriate Congress leaders such as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, BR Ambedkar, Subhash Chandra Bose and Narasimha Rao, the grand old party has sought to do the same with former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
On Monday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, visited the memorials of several leaders. He offered floral tributes at the samadhis of Mahatma Gandhi, former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi; and former deputy prime minister Babu Jagjivan Ram.
In an unusual gesture, Rahul also visited ‘Sadaiv Atal, the samadhi of Vajpayee, and offered floral tributes.
In a tweet, the Congress said, “Today @RahulGandhi ji paid heartfelt tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji by reaching ‘Sadaiv Atal’, the memorial site. Respect is the tradition of our country and we will work to strengthen every rich tradition of the country.”
आज @RahulGandhi जी ने पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी जी के समाधि स्थल ‘सदैव अटल’ पहुंचकर उन्हें भावपूर्ण नमन… https://t.co/6zTJDudz3u— Congress (@INCIndia) 1672036950000
The Congress has sought to train its guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Vajpayee’s memorial.
The opposition party quoted Vajpayee to attack Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots. Addressing media persons, spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the issue was that when Rahul Gandhi went and paid homage at the samadhis of these leaders, he was actually paying homage to each and every individual who has built this country, including Vajpayee.
She said, “And quite frankly, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister who told then Gujarat chief minister in 2002 and today’s prime minister to follow “raj dharma”, which was to follow the Constitution. He told him that lesson. It is a pity Mr Modi never learnt that lesson and he has kept the Constitution at bay. We only hope and pray that today, after seeing Rahul ji at Atal ji’s samadhi, Mr Modi will realise that his utmost duty is to safeguard the Constitution and to stop the violence in his name that is happening. I think that is the message that Rahul Gandhi was trying to deliver.”
Shrinate said Rahul’s Bharat Jodo Yatra was about a confluence of all kinds of ideologies. “When Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji told Mr Modi to follow raj dharma, to uphold the Constitution, he was safeguarding the Constitution. Mr Gandhi’s presence at Atal ji’s samadhi is a mark of that respect,” she said.
While Shrinate aimed at PM Modi, Congress MP and general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh targetted the Modi government over the alleged incursion of Chinese troops into Indian territory, including in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
In a tweet on Vajpayee’s birth anniversary on December 25, Ramesh said, “Today is the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was a first term MP when he co-signed a letter to Nehru requesting for Parliament to be convened earlier than scheduled to debate the Chinese invasion. Nehru agreed. Now MPs can’t even discuss ongoing Chinese incursions.”
Today is the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was a first term MP when he co-signed a letter to Nehru… https://t.co/NYfBxMpakl— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) 1671948596000
He was referring to the recently-concluded winter session of Parliament in which Congress leaders had repeatedly demanded a discussion in both the houses on reports of alleged Chinese incursions in Indian territory and skirmishes with the forces but were not obliged by the government.
Be it the issue of border conflict with China or the Gujarat riots, the Congress cited and praised Vajpayee in a bid to embarrass PM Modi and the BJP.
BJP’s attack on Congress
Ever since the Modi government first came to power in 2014, it has eulogised several Congress leaders such as Sardar Patel, Ambedkar, Subash Chandra Bose and Narasimha Rao to the extent that it has been accused of trying to appropriate them.
In an attempt to attack Nehru, top BJP leaders, including PM Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, have accused the Congress of ignoring other senior leaders and not giving them their due.
During a discussion in Lok Sabha in February 2018, during his first term as PM, Modi had said, “Is it not true that out of the 15 Congress committees formed to choose a leader, 12 had favoured Sardar Patel to lead the country while three had opted for NOTA (none of the above)? Had Sardar Patel been the first PM of the country, a part of Kashmir would not have been in Pakistan.”
Just last month, in a rally at Khambhat in Anand district ahead of the Gujarat assembly election held on December 1 and 5, Shah said, “I am surprised that the Congress now praises Sardar Patel. Since my childhood, I have never heard any Congress leader talking about Patel. Instead, they left no stone unturned to insult Patel, right from performing his last rites in an unceremonious manner to ensuring that no monument was built in his memory.”
While addressing the students and teachers of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in Delhi on October 31, the 147th birth anniversary of Patel, Shah said, “There is public opinion in the country that if Sardar was made the first prime minister of India, the country would not have faced many problems it is facing today… India would have been a superpower.”
The BJP government has built the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Patel in Kewadia, Gujarat.
Similarly, the Modi government has installed a statue of Subhash Chandra Bose near India Gate. It has built and renovated several structures associated with Ambedkar in India and the UK.
BJP leaders have lashed out at the Congress for its alleged ill-treatment of former prime minister Narasimha Rao. It has criticised the Congress for neither allowing the mortal remains of Rao to be placed in the party headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, Delhi nor permitting his cremation in the national capital.
BJP’s in-charge of national information and technology department and co-in-charge of West Bengal Amit Malviya said in a tweet, “Rahul Gandhi visiting samadhis of former PMs is for the shutterbugs, chattering elites and part of his makeover exercise, the nth perhaps. If he was sincere about it, he should have visited the samadhi of Narasimha Rao in Hyderabad too. He didn’t, even though it was on his way.”
Rahul Gandhi visiting samadhis of former PMs is for the shutterbugs, chattering elites and part of his makeover exe… https://t.co/BH00u2PyrT— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) 1672034266000
While the BJP has been aiming at the Congress for long, the latter has hit back for the first time, giving back to the ruling party in the same coin.

Leave a Comment