Joining with Cong, Socialist parties betray Lohia: Modi

Joining with Cong, Socialist parties betray Lohia: Modi

Reuters file photo

At a time when most of the socialist parties are fighting against BJP either in an alliance with Congress or are likely to support it in a post-poll scenario, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminded them of the staunch “anti-Congressism” of acclaimed socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia and his anathema to “dynastic politics”.

The occasion was the birth anniversary of Lohia on Saturday, a day after when Lalu Prasad's RJD and Sharad Yadav in Bihar announced their seat sharing with Congress in Bihar. Lalu Prasad and Sharad Yadav were among the young Turks from the socialist block in the JP movement against Congress in the seventies.

Another socialist party, Janata Dal-Secular has an alliance government with Congress in Karnataka and are taking on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance while SP-BSP alliance in UP, which has kept Congress out of their grouping, is unlikely to back the BJP even in a post-poll scenario.

Ever since these parties have aligned with the Congress, the BJP leadership has been dismissing these alliances as 'Mahamilawat' (big adulteration) and reminding them that their origin was anti-Congress. Besides, the BJP has also been reminding these parties as to how successfully NDA's former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee ran the coalition experiment and how BJP unlike Congress, respects its allies.

Attacking the socialist parties for aligning with Congress, Modi said, “Lohia always believed that dynastic politics was inimical to democracy. He would have been flabbergasted to see his followers think about their own families first instead of the nation. How can those who betrayed Dr Lohia be expected to serve the nation? Today they are betraying the principles of Dr Lohia, tomorrow they will also betray the people of India.”

The Prime Minister rued that those parties that falsely claim to be Dr Lohia’s followers are desperate to form an opportunistic Maha Milawat or adulteration alliances with the same Congress.

“It is both ironical and reprehensible,” he said, recalling “whenever Dr Lohia spoke, inside or outside Parliament, the Congress trembled with fear.”

Modi said Lohia knew how “disastrous” Congress was and quoted the former as saying 1962, “during the Congress regime neither agriculture and industry nor the army has improved.”

These words can accurately describe even subsequent Congress regimes, where farmers were harassed, industry was discouraged (except if they belonged to friends and relatives of Congress leaders) and national security was ignored, Modi said at a time when the Congress is trying to target the BJP on farm distress issue and the BJP is trying to orient the campaign on national security narrative.

He also recalled the warmth of the relationship between Vajpayee and Lohia as he insisted anti-Congressism was Lohia’s heart and soul.

“His efforts ensured a shock to the then all-powerful Congress in 1967 elections. That time, Atal Ji remarked that due to Dr Lohia’s efforts, one could travel on board the Howrah-Amritsar Mail without having to pass a single Congress state.”

Modi's recalling the remarks is so much in sync with BJP's “Congress Mukt Bharat pitch”, which has suffered a serious dent with 3:0 victory of the main Opposition party last year in three Hindi belt states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

“Unfortunately, today Dr Lohia would be horrified at the political developments taking place. Those parties that claim inspiration from Dr. Lohia have completely abandoned his principles. They are leaving no opportunity to insult him,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the work done by his government claiming that NDA's mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ as well as its track record in the last five years show that “we have made a long-lasting contribution in fulfilling the vision of Dr Lohia. He would surely have been very proud of the NDA Government’s work.”

He also linked his government's decision to ban triple talaq as being in sycn with Lohia's calll for complete equality between men and women.

Lohia stated that one who works with ‘Samta’ (equality), ‘Samanata’ (equal opportunity) and ‘Samatva Bhaav’ (equanimity) is a Yogi but “sadly, the parties that claim to be his followers forgot this principle. They believe in ‘Satta (power)’, ‘Swarth (self interest)’ and ‘Shoshan (exploiting).’ These parties are experts at grabbing power, looting as much as possible and exploiting others. Poor people, Tribals, Dalits, OBCs and women are not safe in their rule because these parties give a free run to criminals and anti-social elements,” Modi said.