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Praising former prime minister Indira Gandhi, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today described her as the "most favoured leader" of the country after Mahatma Gandhi.
"Indira Gandhi did not belong to any religion, region or caste. That is why, she is truly loved by all the sections of the country even today," the former Union home minister said at a seminar commemorating the birth centenary celebrations of the Congress stalwart here.
"Many social scientists have said that after Mahatma Gandhi, whose name is easily recognised anywhere in the country, the most favoured leader is Indira," said the Rajya Sabha member.
"One can agree, disagree or debate, but no one can doubt Indira Gandhi's patriotism and love for the people of this country," he added.
Chidambaram said the former prime minister had the courage of conviction and that was why she had admitted that the imposition of Emergency in the 1970s was a mistake.
"Those who criticise the imposition of Emergency must also recognise that she (Indira) was the first person to admit the mistake. That was a great quality of Indira Gandhi," he said.
Claiming that Emergency was "rightly" imposed, he said one had to "look into the circumstances" which led to it.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)