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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address in Parliament on February 7 wasn’t in good taste. He was replying to a debate on the motion of thanks for the President’s address but appeared as if he was at a campaign rally with his oft-quoted sentences and display of rhetoric. The kind of speech, albeit aimed at the Congress, doesn’t befit the Prime Minister. It is wrong to consider that all the development that India has achieved is owing to the contribution of the Bharatiya Janata Party or National Democratic Alliance during the stewardship of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Modi. Except for rampant corruption, mostly during United Progressive Alliance-II, India developed at a fair pace and has continued to develop because of the liberalisation policies of former PM Narasimha Rao and former FM and PM Manmohan Singh.
Modi wants Congress-mukt Bharat. Mahatma Gandhi did not want the Congress to continue after accomplishing its objective of obtaining independence from the British. Gandhi chose Jawaharlal Nehru over Vallabhbhai Patel to be the first Prime Minister of independent India. Also, the Congress had won 364 of the 489 parliamentary seats with 45 per cent of the votes polled in the first general elections in 1952. Nehru and Indira Gandhi had magnetic charisma and capability to lead. They weren’t crowned but elected by MPs belonging to the party. Rajiv Gandhi’s entry into politics was providential because of the untimely death of his mother while in office. Although a part of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, he too was chosen to be PM by elected MPs. It is wrong to blame Rahul Gandhi of dynastic rule as long as there is no other volunteer to lead the party.
Ramanath Nakhate via email
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