If Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri are the Congressmen who Narendra Modi has used during his campaign for Lok Sabha elections, Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the face from the BJP that the Congress party has used to attack the Opposition’s PM candidate.
On its website, the Congress party has posted an article referring to the concerns raised by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The writeup on the Congress website talks about Vajpayee’s belief that the BJP would lose its credibility if action was not taken against Modi.
It also mentions a statement by Vajpayee: “Some people wanted to remove him. I was of the same opinion.”
The writeup further says that Jaswant Singh, who was recently expelled from the BJP, had also confirmed the concerns of Vajpayee over Modi’s failure to prevent the Gujarat riots.
It further says, “The fundamental cause of Shri Vajpayee’s pain was that Shri Modi didn’t perform his Rajdharma. He did not fulfil his fundamental duty as the chief minister: protecting the lives of the people of Gujarat. Towards the last ebb of the Gujarat riots, Shri Vajpayee urged Shri Modi to “observe Rajdharma and not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or religion”. It is evident that Shri Vajpayee believed that the Gujarat CM had been not only inept but downright partisan in his handling of the riots.”
In the end of the writeup, the Congress has questioned how people can trust someone who “failed to protect his citizens” to become the Prime Minister of the country. It also points that Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla was also forced to quit the party and join the Congress, and even Jaswant Singh, a close aide of Vajpayee, was moved out of the party.
The writeup has also attacked BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, terming him as an adversary of Vajpayee, even accusing him of “masterminding the downfall of the Vajpayee government”.
This writeup has been posted by the Congress party days after an old video of a press conference by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with Modi by his side, went viral on social media. In the video, Vajpayee is seen advising the Gujarat Chief Minister to follow “Raj dharma”, and Modi intervenes at the end of the statement, claiming he is doing the same.
Here’s the video of the press conference: