Amid controversy over excluding first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the Karnataka governments newspaper advertisement on freedom fighters, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday took a veiled dig at the Congress without naming it as he pointed at attempts to “forget” national icons like B R Ambedkar and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
In his address at the 76th Independence Day event at the Manekshaw Parade Ground here, he also said that all Prime Ministers and leaders of the country have contributed to Indias progress in their own way, and there is no question of forgetting anyone.
“First Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, then Lal Bahadur Shastri and several Prime Ministers have ruled this country, all of them have contributed in their own way for the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up a Prime Ministers Museum in New Delhi to highlight each ones contribution,” Bommai said without directly referring to the controversy.
“If any Prime Minister had thought about making known the contributions of various PMs to the country it is Narendra Modi. There is no question of forgetting anyone here. Everyone has contributed in their own way. Only PMs have not contributed, there are several luminaries who have contributed,” he said.
Highlighting the importance of Ambedkar and the Constitution prepared under his leadership, he said, “There were attempts to forget him. Should we forget Lal Bahadur Shastri who gave the call Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan or Abdul Ghaffar Khan? Several people have sacrificed for the freedom struggle. I pay my tributes to them,” he said.
The Congress on Sunday took strong exception to the exclusion of Nehru in the newspaper advertisement on freedom fighters and termed the BJP governments action “pathetic”.
Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had called Bommai an “RSS slave”, while AICC general secretary and in-charge of the party affairs in the state Randeep Surjewala had said the BJPs hatred for the countrys first prime minister had reached its zenith.
State BJP General Secretary N Ravi Kumar, however, had said Nehrus name was omitted “intentionally”, as he was responsible for the partition of the country.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)