Cong leaders discuss 2019 polls at Nehru event

Cong leaders discuss 2019 polls at Nehru event

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao. DH file photo

The Karnataka Congress’ celebration of Jawaharlal Nehru’s 129th birth anniversary virtually turned into a strategy meeting on Wednesday as the leaders urged the party workers to counter the BJP’s narrative against the Gandhi family going into the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“It is easy to take jibes at the Gandhi family, but it’s not easy to make sacrifices for the country like the family has. No other family in India has sacrificed so much for the country. The BJP’s agenda is to discredit the Gandhi family,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said during an event to mark Nehru’s birthday at the party headquarters in Bengaluru.

Party leaders also pointed out that the BJP was pushing out a narrative against Nehru by comparing him with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The Narendra Modi administration has gone to town about the Statue of Unity, hailed as the world’s tallest statue dedicated to Patel.

“The BJP is now saying it’d have been better if Patel had become the first prime minister of India in place of Nehru. The truth is that the BJP couldn’t find any tall leader from within, so they chose to make a statue out of Patel,” Rao quipped. “But who are they to question Nehru? During the independence struggle, Nehru spent over 3,000 days in jail. All Sangh Parivar leaders put together may have been imprisoned for not more than 10 days.”

Rao also mocked Modi for showering praise on Patel “while having relegated senior leaders in his own party such as LK Advani, MM Joshi and Yashwant Sinha.” In the upcoming general elections, Rao urged party workers to ensure the defeat of counter the “fascist ideology gaining ground in the country.”

Former Lok Sabha member NY Hanumanthappa said Sardar Patel was not alive when India had its first general election. “If Patel had contested, he may have won and may have become the prime minister. But a narrative is being spun that Patel was prevented from becoming prime minister and we need to counter this,” he said.