BJP gung-ho on Iron Man, Cong to go high on Indira

BJP gung-ho on Iron Man, Cong to go high on Indira

The BJP-led NDA government will commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s ‘Iron man’ Sardar Patel in a big way today and the Congress party is making sure that the October 31 martyrdom anniversary of ‘Iron lady’ Indira Gandhi is not forgotten.

The Congress has made elaborate arrangements to observe Indira’s death anniversary at her ‘Shaktisthal’ memorial adjacent to the Rajghat. The decision comes in the wake of the government’s announcement last week that it would only observe the birth and death anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi.

AICC General Secretary Ajay Maken refrained from criticising the government when asked whether there was an attempt to overshadow the legacy of Indira Gandhi.

“No one can overshadow anyone’s legacy. Both Sardar Patel and Indira Gandhi have made contributions to the country which the country can never forget. No single leader, no single government can ever make people forget the legacy and contribution of such great leaders,” Maken said.

Maken also said it was Congress President Sonia Gandhi who had made a suggestion in August 2012 that the government should only observe the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Central government used to make arrangements to observe the birth and death anniversaries of Gandhi, late prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. However, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor attacked the government for ignoring Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.

“Disgraceful that the government is ignoring the martyrdom of our only Prime Minister who was killed in office in the line of duty. Oct 31 forgotten,” Tharoor, who has otherwise been praising Modi for his Swachh Bharat campaign, said on Twitter. Meanwhile, the government has drawn up elaborate plans to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on Friday as National Unity Day.

President Pranab Mukherjee will flag off the Run for Unity at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to mark the day.

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