‘Leaders should not have enmity for opponents’

RSTV Bureau

Rajnath_SoniaHome Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday hit back at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, saying no leader should have animosity towards the political opponents and parties should not try to create a sense of fear in the minds of people.

Addressing a function organised on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, he said the country’s first Prime Minister had no animosity to his ideological opponents and had even invited RSS to take part in the Republic Day parade in 1963.

“We should never have ill feelings towards our political opponents. We should not create any fear psychosis in people’s mind. We should not create any sense of fear by making unnecessary statement. We should create a sense of confidence among people. All political parties must work for that,” he said.

Later when asked to explain why he made the statement, the Home Minister referred to the Congress Vice President’s statement at a similar function yesterday.

In his speech, Rahul had said that “angry” people are nowadays running the country and had a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the “Swachhta Abhiyan”, saying “photo opportunities” are galore.

The Home Minister said there are many people in the country who thought that members of just one family can rule the country but the greatness of Indian democracy has proved that even a tea seller can become the Prime Minister.

“India cannot be ruled with a narrow mind. Nehru understood this fact fully. He had no animosity towards political opponents. Nehru had faith in Indian democracy and that this is not a democracy for the elite only. That is why even his political opponents liked him,” he said.

The Home Minister said there might be difference of opinion and ideology but no one can ever think or dare to question Nehru’s intention to work for the welfare of the country, for betterment of India.

“We did not support Nehru’s Kashmir policy. Many people did not support his policy on China. But no one can deny his significant contribution to nation building,” he said.

Describing the country’s first Prime Minister as a national leader, Singh said Nehru did a lot for improving country’s economy as immediately after Independence, the economy was in bad shape.

The Home Minister said Nehru had promoted research in science and technology and also believed that India can give leadership in international affairs.

“At that time, the world was divided between two camps — America and Russia. It was Nehru who had laid the foundation of the Non Aligned Movement,” he said.