Other leaders ignored for 'one family': PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that to glorify one family, deliberate attempts were being made to belittle the contributions of other towering leaders in nation-building, as he paid rich tributes to Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee. PTI file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that in order to glorify one family, deliberate attempts are being made to belittle the contributions of other towering leaders in nation building, as he paid a rich tribute to Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

In a veiled attack on the Congress, he said it was spreading "lies, confusion and pessimism" and was cut off from the ground reality.

"It is unfortunate that to glorify one family, deliberate attempts are made to belittle the contributions of other towering personalities in the country," Modi told a public meeting after launching the Mohanpura Irrigation Project in the Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh.

He said the party which ruled the country for many years never trusted the people and their hard work.

He said when the Congress ruled the state, Madhya Pradesh was called a "bimaru" (ailing) state, but the BJP government pulled the state out of that tag.

"The Congress never saw this as an insult to the people of the state. The BJP had worked hard to remove this tag," he said.

Recalling Mookerjee's contribution to the country, Modi said, "His vision inspires us even today and helps us come out of despondency."

As independent India's first industries and supplies minister (in the Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet), he framed the nation's maiden industrial policy, the prime minister said.

His thoughts and actions for the country's industrial policy, things he had done in the areas of education, women empowerment and nuclear policy were far ahead of his times and they are still relevant, the prime minister said.

"His vision was to impart skills to the youth and give them opportunity so that they become capable of serving the country. Programmes such as Startup India and Make in India are a reflection of his ideas," he said.

He said Mookerjee died in a "suspicious" manner in Kashmir during a visit in 1953.

"It is a coincidence that today is the death anniversary of Syama Prasad Mookerjee. On June 23, he died in a suspicious manner in Kashmir. I remember him on this occasion," he said.

The BJP, the successor party of the BJS, observes June 23 as 'Balidan Diwas'.

For the Mohanpura Irrigation Project, the prime minister gave credit to the labourers "who worked hard with tools and machines, sweating it out day and night".

"I have just done the formality of launching the project by pressing the button, but it's actual launch was done when they toiled hard for it," he said.

The project would supply drinking water to 400 villages and its water will reach more than 700 villages, he said, adding that it would irrigate 1.25 lakh hectares of land.

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Other leaders ignored for 'one family': PM

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