Lucknow: Senior Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a "Congress-free India" would not materialise as long as people continue to remember icons like Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
"The present Prime Minister, who had given the slogan of Congress-free India, first remembered Patel, then Gandhi and now Nehru. It is a good thing. Till the memories of these leaders remain among the people, the country cannot be free of Congress," Verma told reporters here on the eve of Nehru's 125th birth anniversary.
Terming Nehru as a true socialist, democrat and secular leader, Verma said the nation's leader too should possess these qualities to resolve problems of the country.
Hitting out at Modi, he said, "It is unfortunate that the head of the government today is neither socialist, democratic nor secular. I belong to the rural background and know that farmers are not getting the return for their produce... TV has stories on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but nothing on hike in rates of fertilisers or plight of the poor."
Asked about Congress not inviting Modi in functions organised to mark Nehru's 125th birth anniversary, Verma said it is better to leave out those who do not believe in him and are against his policies.
On NDA government's plan to scrap Planning Commission which is widely recognised as Nehruvian model of development, Verma said there has been no sign that it is coming up with an alternative machinery despite being in power for six months.
"It is only on slogans that the country is being run. They are playing with the sentiments of the poor," Verma said.
Verma said differences between Patel and Nehru were not as they are being "propagated" by the BJP.