Unease in Congress over Rahul-JP comparison
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Last Updated: Friday, October 22, 2010, 23:54
  
New Delhi/Patna: Congress spokesperson Mohan Prakash's comparison of Rahul Gandhi with anti-Emergency hero Jayaprakash Narayan on Friday caused some unease in the party which reminded him there was no dearth of icons within its ranks.

The comparison also drew flak from BJP with the saffron party saying it was tantamount to 'lowering' the Loknayak's stature.

With his remarks not going down well with the Congress, Prakash, a former socialist and who himself was part of the JP movement in the mid-seventies, said his intention was not to make any comparison between individuals.

Some Congress leaders on the condition of anonymity said it was "unnecessary" to invoke JP's name for appreciating the works of Rahul as there was no dearth of icons in the party.

A leader said the remarks coming at a time when the party is fighting Assembly elections in Bihar, where the Congress party's main rivals are products of the JP movement, are not appropriate.

Prakash on his part said "My intention was and is not to compare any individual with somebody else. Rahul Gandhi is addressing the aspirations of youths and urging them to increase their social and political participation and the attraction of youth towards Gandhi is on the rise."

Prakash had yesterday said, "After Pandit Nehru, Abdul Kalam (former President) addressed the children of the country. Similarly after Jayaprakash Prakash Narayan, Rahul Gandhi has addressed the needs, concerns and the future of the youth of the country."

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said "I don't know what somebody has said about somebody ... but I think it will be an attempt to lowering the stature of a leader like Jayaprakash Narayan who has made significant and great contributions to the freedom struggle or otherwise in India.

Talking to reporters in Patna, Jaitley said Prakash perhaps overlooked that Narayan was one of the most vociferous political opponents of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who clamped Emergency at the height of JP's movement.

PTI


First Published: Friday, October 22, 2010, 23:54


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