Congress in no mood to let BJP walk away with Gandhiji's legacy
New Delhi, Sep 12: Congress, which considers itself as the true inheritor of Mahatma Gandhi's legacy, is clearly uncomfortable with Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's grand plans for the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.
Prime Minister Modi launched one of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA's biggest schemes, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, on Gandhi Jayanti, in 2014. The PM makes it a point to mention in his speeches that Gandhiji was a strong advocate of cleanliness and sanitation.
And now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked all BJP MPs to undertake 150-kilometre padayatras, or foot marches, to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on October 2. Modi said the parliamentarians can cover 15 km in their constituencies each day between October 2 and October 31.
PM Modi paying tribute to Gandhiji at Rajghat
The Congress, which often accuses the BJP of not having icons of its own, has been silenced as the Modi-led party usurped Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi right under the noses of the grand old party.
BJP not just used these historic Congress icons to to their advantage, but also to corner the grand old party. It was a major blow when Modi said that the ‘Congress mukt Bharat' was in fact, Gandhiji's vision. To appeal to Dalit community, PM Modi has said that Congress insulted Dr Ambedkar.
LS Speaker Om Birla paying floral tributes to statue of Mahatma Gandhi
This praising of former Congress legends has pushed the Sonia Gandhi led party to a corner, it can neither accept not criticise.
But with Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary celebrations approaching, the Congress would want to make best use of it. Sonia Gandhi today chaired a meeting of top party leaders from across the country to finalise plans for Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary celebrations. The meeting was attended by former PM Manmohan Singh, AICC general secretaries and in charges of various states, state government chiefs and CLP leaders, among others. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi was not present in the meeting.
Students participate in Gandhi Sandesh Yatra rally ahead of the 150th birth anniversary
The preparations for Gandhi Jayanti are being seen as Congress's strategy to counter the Narendra Modi government's plans. The grand old party workers will carry out padyatras across the country, wearing Gandhi topis and holding seminars.
An artist gives finishing touch to clay sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi
Reports based on sources have quoted Sonia Gandhi as telling her party that the fight to reclaim ground has to begin with Gandhi Jayanti - a kind of Dandi March, which challenged British economic backbone is also being mulled by Congress.