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Congress' love-hate relationship with Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Friday, 11 April 2014 - 3:22pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

Omar Abdullah in December 2013 commented on the proficiency of the opposition stating No one in the NDA is of Vajpayee's stature. Taking cue from this comment, the NDA thrashing Congress has posted a Vajpayee-flowering comment on their website, an action deemed as a critical mark of hypocrisy.

On April 10, Indian National Congress' website carried a 500 word article citing strong references to the ex-prime minister's comments about BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

It must be noted, however, that Congress has previously defamed Atal Bihari Vajpayee on several occasions. Sonia Gandhi's allegedly stated that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then the Prime Minister of the country was a 'Gaddar' or traitor, at a 1999 rally in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Narendra Modi, the then General Secretary of the BJP, expressed his displeasure on the occasion and demanded a public apology.

In 2002, again Sonia Gandhi stated that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had lost his mental balance, for suggesting that her party was trying to force mid-term elections. She also commented on the Hindutva sentiments of the BJP saying, “BJP is a communal party and the mask of the prime minister of trying to project a secular image is totally exposed and gone,” she said. Doubting the sustenance of the NDA led government, Sonia said “The contradictions within the BJP and the coalition partners have widened to such an extent that very soon the government would fall under its own weight.”

Then in 2005, the Manmohan Singh government gifted Vajpayee a swanky BMW car, when they learnt of his humble Ambassador car breaking down.

However the past few years, tone of Congress and its leaders seems to have changed. In a daring mark of hypocrisy, the Congress now bats for Vajpayee. Be it Sachin Pilot's comments or Digvijay Singh's, Congress has maintained for a while now that BJP held a stronger force when it was led by the former Prime Minister.

On Thursday, the Congress flashed the AB Vajpayee piece on their website. The report published by the party stated that Vajpayee was keen on sacking Modi. "Some people wanted to remove him. I was of the same opinion," said Vajpayee in Manali- the report read. It also said that the former PM felt that the Modi was inept and partisan in handling the riots.

Drawing references to a speech made by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, where he stated that Modi mustn't differentiate on the communist grounds; the Congress website read, "How can a person whom the tallest leader of the BJP wanted remove as chief minister, be the party's prime ministerial candidate? Will a chief minister who failed to protect his citizens, who discriminated between people on the basis of religion, who made a mockery of people's suffering, ever make a good prime minister?

The website also carried a illustration of Vajpayee's image and his comments stating “ Narendra Modi hasn't followed his Rajdharma;” thus urging the masses to reconsider their options.

In what seems like a never ending tirade over Modi's fame, the Congress seems to be banking on the recent controversies surrounding BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate.

BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in a recent interview to a leading news channel said “Congress knows it cannot praise its own people, thus it is showering praises on our leaders. They Congress first said that Vajpayee was good and the BJP was bad. Now it says that the BJP is good and Modi is bad. Congress is confused. It has a feeble path and a feeble idea.”

Shobha Oza, leader of Congress' women wing supported the Congress in its move stating, if a learned person like Vajpayee had stated that Modi is unfit, then it must right.”

Also Read - Lok Sabha Elections 2014: The Congress' new found love for Atal Bihari Vajpayee


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