Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said that Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi indeed favoured disbanding of the Congress party soon after Independence and quoted from his own writings to prove her point. She chided sections in the Congress for speaking in the Assembly without knowing the history of their party.
During zero hour in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister recalled the statement made by Congress members S Vijayadharani and J G Prince on April 1 that there was no evidence to prove that the Mahatma had favoured disbanding the Congress. “Yesterday when Vijayadharini made some remarks in the Assembly, Municipal Administration Minister K P Munusamy had said that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to disband the Congress party after the country’s Independence. But both Congress members denied it. I remained silent then because I wanted to speak with proof in hand,” the Chief Minister said.
Quoting from Volume 90 the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi published by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s Publication Division in 1984, she said the book had foreword by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The Chief Minister said just a day before his assassination (on January 29, 1948), Gandhi had sent the draft constitution for the Congress, which was released by the then general secretary of the AICC, Acharya Jugal Kishore, on February 7, 1948. In that volume, Mahatma Gandhi had said: “Though split into two, India having attained political independence through means devised by the Indian National Congress, the Congress in its present shape and form, i.e. as a propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine, has outlived its use.” This means that Congress has expired, she said.
Jayalalithaa quoted Gandhi further: “India has still to attain social, moral and economic independence in terms of its seven hundred thousand villages as distinguished from its cities and towns. The struggle for the ascendancy of civil over military power is bound to take place in India’s progress towards its democratic goal. It must be kept out of unhealthy competition with political parties and communal bodies. For these and other similar reasons, the AICC resolves to disband the existing Congress organisation.”