New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took pot shots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign and said that those behind the initiative are spreading communal poison in the society.
The Congress leader also took a jibe at the Modi-led NDA Government and alleged that angry people are running the nation.
"This country is like the house we live in, on one hand people are cleaning up the house and on the other hand, they are spreading the poison of hatred - weakening the basis of our country. When the foundations are weak, then the enemies of this nation benefit," he said.
He also dismissed the Clean India mission as a "photo opportunity".
Seeking to bolster the morale of his party workers, Rahul said the Congress party has suffered setbacks, but never given up on its ideologies.
Recalling Jawaharlal Nehru's love for the country, Rahul said that the first Prime Minister of India had thanked the Britishers for putting him in jail and keeping him isolated, thus, making him realize his love for the motherland.
"In that, there was no anger - he thanked the British for putting him in jail and making him realize his love for the motherland," he said.
The Congress vice-president also credited Nehru for promoting English in the country, without which the IITs and the IIMs would not have been possible.
"Many wanted to get rid of English after 1947, but Nehruji said we will use English language to unite with the world. Nehruji said we must be connected to world, Britishers have left but we will benefit from their language," he added.
Amid a bitter feud with the ruling BJP to stake claim to the political legacy of leaders of India's freedom struggle, the Congress party today Thursday kickstarted a series of commemorative events to mark the 125th birth anniversary of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru amid much fanfare.
Here is how the event unfolded:
- Sonia Gandhi concludes her speech
- Come lets pledge that we will stand united and fight tooth and nail against those forces who want to destroy the legacy of Pandit Nehru: Sonia.
- Those targeting Nehru ji today are targeting an ideology, we have to fight against forces who want to destroy Pt Nehru's ideals: Sonia
- We are a 129-year-old party, we'll continue to exist despite difficulties because we take inspiration from our forefathers: Sonia
- I feel if Pt Nehru was here, then he would have asked us to go back to people, connect with people strengthen the organisation: Sonia
- Nehruji's ideologies are not just a part of history, they inspire us even today & undoubtedly they will inspire generations to come: Sonia
- Today an attempt is being made to wipe out Nehru's legacy: Sonia
- “We would not have been successful in our space missions without Nehruji”
- Unhone aisi rajneeti ki jisme alag alag vichaaro ka yogdaan aur samaavesh rha: Sonia Gandhi
- Pandit Nehru had tremendous energy to build a new India: Sonia .
- Jawaharlal Nehru was first among freedom fighters, the architect of India: Sonia
- Congress chief Sonia Gandhi begins her speech
- Ex-CM Sheila Dikshit administers pledge to Congress workers to remain committed to Nehruvian values
- Rahul concludes speech
- When you weaken the foundation, the enemies of this country benefit: Rahul
- This country is like the house we live in, on one hand people are cleaning up the house and on the other hand, they are spreading the poison of hatred - weakening the basis of our country. When the foundations are weak, then the enemies of this nation benefit: Rahul
- Rahul dismisses the Clean India mission as a "photo opportunity".
- “Those who are running the country on the basis of anger say Hindi should be used in place of English”
- Rahul Gandhi attacks BJP, says angry people are running this country:
- Only Congress party's ideology of love and brotherhood can fight the ideology of hate : Rahul
- It's not like Congress has not committed any mistakes, we made mistakes, but we are not short of ideologies: Rahul
- “Whatever India has achieved from Mars Mission to our democracy is due to the vision of Pt Nehru”
- Nehru ji said we must remain connected to World, Britishers have left but we will benefit from their language: Rahul
- Nehru ji once wrote in visitors' book of Naini jail, "I thank Britishers for putting me in jail and keeping me isolated", says Rahul
- “Want to share with you how Nehru ji laid the foundation of a modern India and his vision about the country”
- Rahul Gandhi begins addressing the gathering at Talkatora Stadium.
- Delhi Pradesh Congress president Avinder Singh Lovely welcomes party leaders, guests and party workers after felicitating Sonia Gandhi.
- Ex-PM Manmohan Singh pays floral tribute to Pandit Nehru.
- Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, VP Rahul Gandhi pay floral tributes to Pandit Nehru.
- Congress national president Sonia Gandhi, her son and party vice president Rahul, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and other senior Congress leaders arrive at the venue.
- Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul will address the party workers here and attend a memorial service at Shanti Van and other cultural programmes.
- After a formal start to the event, school children performed during Pandit Nehru's 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations at Talkatora Stadium here.
— INC India (@INCIndia) November 13, 2014
- The event, which is being organised by the Delhi Pradesh Congress, stated at 11 am.
— INC India (@INCIndia) November 13, 2014
The Congress is locked in a bitter political war with the ruling BJP over former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy and the party's plans to celebrate Nehru’s birth anniversary in a grand manner is seen as a move to counter the latter, which recently organised a grand national day of unity to mark Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary.
As per reports, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who is also the chairman of the committee that will oversee the year-long celebration of Nehru’s birth anniversary, will administer a pledge to protect his values and vision to party workers.
According to Congress Delhi Legislative Party leader Harun Yusuf, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul will also address the party workers on the occasion.
Seeking to revive the Nehruvian ‘idea of India’, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed on Wednesday said that his party had invited leaders of all the Left parties, the JD(U), the RJD, the Trinamool Congress and other parties. However, none of the BJP allies has been invited.
An invite has been reportedly sent to its former ally, TMC led by Mamata Banerjee. Former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too has been invited to the international function to be held in Delhi on November 17-18.
Invites have also been extended to several world leaders, including the former Presidents of Afghanistan (Hamid Karzai), Ghana (John Kufuor)and Nigeria (Olusegun Obasanjo) as well as former Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. Among the international political parties, the African National Congress (ANC), Communist Party of China (CPC), Awami League of Bangladesh, Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Vietnam have also been invited.
Surprisingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been excluded from the list of invitees.