Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday tweeted his blog post to mark the 109th birth anniversary of socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia, terming attempts by opposition parties to form an alliance against the BJP as “reprehensible”, sparking a war of words on Twitter. While Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the BJP follows leaders who Lohia opposed and disagreed with, BSP president Mayawati posed questions on the BJP’s “politics of deception”.
A day after the opposition RJD and Congress announced seat-sharing arrangements for Bihar, PM Narendra Modi termed the parties’ bid to form a coalition as “reprehensible” and said that socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia would have been “flabbergasted” to “see his ‘followers’ think about their own families first instead of the nation”.
“Today, they are betraying the principles of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, tomorrow they will also betray the people of India. My thoughts on why those who claim to follow Dr. Lohia have let him down. Do read,” read Modi’s tweet, accompanied by the blog post titled “Remembering Dr Lohia”.
Reacting to the PM’s post, Akhilesh tweeted, “I wonder which principles are being spoken of. The BJP seems to be schizophrenic. On the one hand they try to coopt Gandhi Ji, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel, Dr Ambedkar and Dr Lohia and on the other hand they follow people who these leaders opposed and disagreed with.”
BSP chief Mayawati joined the row, slamming the PM for “writing a secret greeting letter” to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan. “On the one hand strong anti-Pakistan stand & striking statements for the sake of vote bank politics but on the other hand secret greeting letter to Pak PM. Is this kind of politics of deceive & deception with 130 crore people of the country by BJP proper? People must remain alert,” she tweeted.
She also criticised the Prime Minister for “dilly-dallying” the appointment of the Lokpal. “Thanks to hon. Suprme Court those who did not allowed to have a Lokayukta in his home state of Gujarat had to ultimately appoint Lokpal in the country after 5 years of dilly-dallying. Justice Pinaki Ghose today took oath as first Lokpal of India. Greetings to him and to people,” she tweeted.
In his blog post to mark the 109th birth anniversary of Lohia, Modi said the Congress “trembled with fear” when Lohia spoke inside or outside Parliament. “Today those parties that falsely claim to be Dr Lohia’s followers are desperate to form an opportunistic ‘maha-milawat’ or adulteration alliances with the same Congress. It is both ironical and reprehensible,” he wrote.
The Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-Secular, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, which will merge with the RJD after the Lok Sabha polls, were some of the parties formed on socialist ideology. “Neck deep in vote bank politics, it was parties that dishonestly claim to be Dr Lohia’s followers that opposed the NDA government’s move to abolish the inhuman practice of triple talaq,” he wrote.
Noting that “anti-Congressism” was Lohia’s “heart and soul”, Modi wrote, “Those parties that claim inspiration from Lohia have completely abandoned his principles… He would have been flabbergasted to see his ‘followers’ think about their own families first instead of the nation.”