New Delhi: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani has said that Congress MPs were not present at the Central Hall Saturday to pay floral tributes to BJP ideologue Syama Prasad Mukherjee, unwittingly reflecting that party`s "innate partisan thinking".
In a post on his blog, Advani said the new generation of Congress MPs was departing even from the tradition of their own elders.
Advani said it was a firmly established convention in parliament since 1947 that on the birth anniversary of the leaders whose portraits have been put up in the Central Hall, all MPs are invited to offer floral homage.
Mukherjee `s birth anniversary was on July 6.
Advani said Mukherjee, who founded the BJP`s predecessor Bharatiya Jan Sangh, was the first citizen to defy the permit system to enter Jammu and Kashmir.
"His incarceration, and subsequent martyrdom, is now part of history," Advani said.
Advani said a large number of MPs from both houses, including Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, paid their tributes to Mukherjee in Parliament House.
"But what struck me as odd was the fact that I did not see any Congress MP there, neither member nor minister. The absence of Congressmen is unlikely to be a deliberate decision. Unwitting though it may be, it does reflect innate partisan thinking," he said.
Advani said that in case of Vir Savarkar, whose portrait was unveiled in the Central Hall some years back by the then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Congress party had formally decided to boycott the function.
He said the Congress has continued to stay away from all subsequent birth anniversaries of Savarkar.
Advani said it was the Marxist government led by former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu which had decided to put up an excellent statue of Mukherjee at the Maidan in Kolkata.
He said that the statue was unveiled by R. Venkataraman, who was vice-president at that time.
"I have recalled all this only to remind the Congress leadership today that the country may be inclined to conclude that at least in so far as the Congress party is concerned, the new generation is departing even from the tradition of their own elders!" Advani noted.