PATNA: Dismissing senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge’s claim that the party had “preserved” democracy in the country, BJP national spokesman Sambit Patra said on Monday that the grand old party had instead reserved democracy as one particular family’s right to give the country prime ministers.
Coming down heavily on Kharge’s statement that a “chaiwala” (tea-seller) like Narendra Modi could become prime minister because Congress had preserved democracy in the country, Patra said: “Narendra Modi became prime minister because the country’s people, fed up of the long misrule of Congress, wanted an honest and capable leader like him to head the country”.
Accusing Congress of carrying democracy as a “legacy of one family,” Patra said: “First, it was Nehru, then Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi. It shows how Congress followed the policy of preservation in order to promote only one family”.
“Congress believes that democracy is some pickle of the Gandhi family which the party has preserved by putting in the spice of Emergency,” said Patra to reporters during his maiden visit to the Bihar capital. He asserted that democracy in India has been strengthened with the contribution of leaders from various political affiliations, including many from BJP and Jan Sangha, especially during the Emergency.
He attacked RJD, Bihar’s main Opposition party, for following the Congress way of dynasty politics and corruption. “RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has no interest in the progress of India or Bihar. Your family’s misrule pushed Bihar back by many years. He is interested only in the political career of his two sons. The need of the hour is to eliminate dynasty politics at the Centre and in Bihar,” he said.
On the issue of BJP’s ally JD(U) insisting that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who is JD(U) national president, will be the face of NDA during campaigns in the state for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Patra said it is voters who ultimately decide who emerges as the face.
“Political parties and all their leaders are simply servants of the people… Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the NDA face in national campaigns. Nitish Kumar has made it clear that he is not a claimant to the PM’s post,” added Patra.