Mrs Gandhi had requested that the commemoration of birth and death anniversaries of political leaders should be handled not by the government but by political parties, trusts and societies. The father of the nation -- Mahatma Gandhi, she had written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, should be the exception.
Despite Mrs Gandhi's request, Congress lashed out at the central government for not marking Indira Gandhi's death anniversary on Friday, Oct 31. Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma was quoted as saying, "It is petty-minded, it is partisan and disrespectful to those who gave their lives to their country, particularly Indira Gandhi who gave hers for the unity of this country."
Earlier Congress leader and former union minister Shashi Tharoor on Thursday tweeted, "Disgraceful that Govt is ignoring the martyrdom of our only Prime Minister who was killed in office in the line of duty. Oct 31 forgotten. (sic)."
The Prime Minister and his government at the centre celebrated Sardar Patel's birth anniversary which coincides with Indira Gandhi's death anniversary on Oct 31. Patel's birth anniversary has been celebrated as the National Unity Day with the PM flagging off the 'Run for Unity' campaign in Delhi on Friday.