The BJP on Sunday targeted the Congress leadership with party president Amit Shah dubbing the opposition party a “private limited company” of Nehru-Gandhi family. This came two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s challenge to the Congress to appoint a head from outside the family.
In a statement, Shah said the Congress had become more of a family enterprise aimed at dynastic service than a political party aimed at public service, and that no person outside the family had any right over it.
He ridiculed Congress leaders, including P Chidambaram, who had named several party presidents from outside the Gandhi family, and said Modi’s challenge had ruffled several feathers with “many courtiers going out of the way to prove their loyalty”.
At an election rally in Chhattisgarh Friday, Modi had said if the the Congress appointed someone who is not from the Gandhi family as its president for at least five years, he would believe that Jawaharlal Nehru put in place a truly democratic system in the opposition party. On Sunday, the Prime Minister repeated his words at another rally.
“The Prime Minister is right. The Congress (Indira) since its inception in 1978 has been led by four members of one family for most of the years, thus making it more of a family enterprise aimed at dynastic service rather than a political party aimed at public service,” Shah said.
Shah was referring to the split in the Congress in 1978 following its loss in the 1977 parliamentary polls, with the Indira Gandhi-led faction recognised as Congress(I). As she returned to power in 1980, her faction was later recognised by the Election Commission as the real Congress. He said two Congress chiefs, who were not from Nehru-Gandhi family, were treated in the “most shabby” manner. While P V Narasimha Rao’s body, after his death, was not allowed inside the Congress office, Sitaram Kesri was “roughed up by goons loyal to we know who”, Shah said.