Unease in Congress over Rahul-JP comparison

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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