BJP boycotts felicitation of freedom fighters chaired by President

BJP boycotts felicitation of freedom fighters chaired by President

BJP boycotts felicitation of freedom fighters chaired by President

The BJP-led NDA on Monday boycotted the function organised to felicitate hundreds of freedom fighters here in the State Capital. The function, which was part of the Champaran Satyagrah centenary celebrations, saw President Pranab Mukherjee honouring freedom fighters drawn from all over the country.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was the chief guest on the occasion, reportedly cancelled his Bihar visit at the last moment due to some ‘pressing engagements’. This led to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who was on the dais with President Mukherjee and Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind, assail Rajnath for failing to turn up despite giving his consent.

“By not turning up despite giving his consent, Rajnath has shown utter disrespect towards the freedom fighters and President Pranab Mukherjee,” said Lalu while addressing the function organised here at SK Memorial Hall. Without naming anyone, he said, “On the one hand there are those leaders who are supporters of Nathuram Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi. On the other hand, there are those who follow Gandhi’s ideas, values and principles,” said Lalu, looking towards Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who represented the grand old party on the occasion.
Nitish Kumar too thanked Rahul for his visit but cautioned everyone not to make the felicitation function a political event as “it has been organised as a mark of respect to all the freedom fighters who fought for country’s Independence.”

“Unfortunately, no leader from the BJP or its allies have come here despite being invited,” the Chief Minister lamented.

The BJP was quick to hit back at Bihar CM as well as Lalu. “Nitish should explain whether these freedom fighters fought for country’s Independence for this day when Lalu Prasad, a convicted leader in a corruption case, would share dais with the President of India?” asked former Bihar BJP chief Mangal Pandey.

Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind was so miffed with RJD chief that he did not take the name of Lalu Prasad or Rahul Gandhi in his opening address. It was left to Pranab Mukherjee who actually paid real tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.

“It was actually Champaran Satyagrah in April 1917 that changed Mohandas as Mahatma Gandhi,” said Pranab Mukherjee before felicitating freedom fighters, mostly in their 90s. “I could not participate in the freedom struggle as I was barely 10-12 year old when the country got Independence,” the octogenarian President told the gathering.