New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her speech on the Quit India Movement during a special discussion in the Lok Sabhan in which she lamented over the loss of control Nehru dynasty wielded before Congress's defeat in 2014.
Irani, who on Tuesday won the Rajya Sabha election, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for describing Mahatma Gandhi's call of Do or Die as one that was instrumental in hastening India’s journey to Independence by transforming the freedom movement into a larger mass mobilisation that touched the farthest corners of the subcontinent.
Smriti wrote a post on her Facebook wall where she wrote: Gandhi was bent upon to prove that blood is thicker than water and was 'bitter and illiberal'.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader attacked Sonia for giving credit only to the Congress party for India's Independence movement.
Irani accused Gandhi for denigrating the contribution of the millions who stood behind Mahatma Gandhi in response to his clarion call, courting arrests and indulging in widespread civil disobedience to mark the Quit India movement in 1942.
Laying down the comparison between PM Modi's and Gandhi's speech, Irani said: "Not only the PM spoke of the past but also of the future, not only spoke about India but also of the world. Highlighting the role that women played in the Quit India movement, he emphasised that we must strive to empower women and facilitate their optimum contribution towards building a New India by destroying the shackles that held them back.:
"He also spoke about how India’s quest for freedom bolstered the Independence struggles of other nations under the yoke of colonialism. Exhorting the people of the country to rise above all kinds of differences, including those created by politics, to forge ahead by fighting poverty, injustice and terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was forward-looking, positive, unifying and gracious in his address, as the occasion demanded."
The Congress president on Wednesday expressed concern over attacks on democracy by the "communal and repressive forces" in the country.
"When we are celebrating 75 years of the Quit India Movement, there are doubts among people whether fear is overshadowing the sense of freedom; whether attempts are being made to destroy the democratic structure, also freedom of speech, equality and social justice," Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha during the special session to mark the 75th anniversary of the movement.