BJP’s oldest ally Shiv Sena stirred perhaps an unthinkable surprise by taking a deeply divergent view from the former, lavishing rich praise on the Congress party Prime Ministers, beginning from Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr. Manmohan Singh. Making its view public in an editorial of its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’, it lauded the contribution of former Congress PMs to India’s growth story and said they too had made the country proud during their foreign visits and were immensely popular abroad.
What is even more significant, Shiv Sena’s views came just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a seeming jibe at the Congress party during his US visit, accusing the grand old party-led UPA government of corruption. In veiled attack, PM Modi had also criticised Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.
Listing achievements of the Congress Prime Ministers, Sena said contribution of former PMs PV Narsimha Rao and Manmohan Singh in accelerating India’s economic growth cannot be forgotten and also recalled the vital role of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in expediting technological advancement.
“Modi has a remarkable persona in foreign nations and Indians who are far from their country like him very much. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi too were famous overseas,” the opinion piece read adding “Nehru was immensely popular abroad. There still are people in Russia and America who sing praises of Nehru’s persona. They were popular at a time when there was no media or social media.”
“While it is true that Modi is immensely popular, Rao and Manmohan laid the foundation of India’s economic development. They opened the doors and windows of the country to invite other nations and opened up India’s economy. How can we forget this?” it read further.
“At a time when the economy was in a bad shape, both these Prime Ministers gave a direction to the country’s economy,” the editorial emphatically said while lauding the bold decisions of the Congress leaders.
And the surprise reached pinnacle when the editorial didn’t stopped short of commending the contribution of Congress party Prime Ministers from its first family – Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
“Doordarshan started telecasting its programmes pan-India since 1982. It was on August 15, 1982 that Indira Gandhi’s Independence Day address to the nation was first telecast on DD in colour,” Shiv Sena mouthpiece opined adding “later, it was Rajiv Gandhi who ushered in an era of computers and ensured that every village had phone and STD booths. He and his advisor Sam Pitroda are known as the architects of Indian telecommunication sector.”
(With inputs from the PTI)