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'Congress-free India' not possible till Patel, Gandhi, Nehru remembered: Beni

PTI 13 Nov 2014, 17:31:38 PM IST
PTI

Lucknow: Senior Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a “Congress-free India” would not materialise as long as people continue to remember icons like Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

“The present Prime Minister, who had given the slogan of Congress-free India, first remembered Patel, then Gandhi and now Nehru. It is a good thing. Till the memories of these leaders remain among the people, the country cannot be free of Congress,” Verma told reporters here on the eve of Nehru's 125th birth anniversary.

Terming Nehru as a true socialist, democrat and secular leader, Verma said the nation's leader too should possess these qualities to resolve problems of the country.  Hitting out at Modi, he said, “It is unfortunate that the head of the government today is neither socialist, democratic nor secular. I belong to the rural background and know that farmers are not getting the return for their produce... TV has stories on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but nothing on hike in rates of fertilisers or plight of the poor.”

Asked about Congress not inviting Modi in functions organised to mark Nehru's 125th birth anniversary, Verma said it is better to leave out those who do not believe in him and are against his policies.

On NDA government's plan to scrap Planning Commission which is widely recognised as Nehruvian model of development, Verma said there has been no sign that it is coming up with an alternative machinery despite being in power for six months.  “It is only on slogans that the country is being run.

They are playing with the sentiments of the poor,” Verma said.  Verma said differences between Patel and Nehru were not as they are being “propagated” by the BJP.

Verma alleged that capitalists and industrialist were prospering under the NDA government.  “I have seen news that industrial production has grown by 2.5 per cent. But it is that of the private sector while that of public sector has come down. Their shares are being sold and its bad effect would be seen in five years.

Unemployment would grow and poor would be most affected”, he said.  Prasad also attacked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for not hiking state advisory price (SAP) of cane for the crushing season 2014-15 which was announced by the state government yesterday.

“It is strange that Mulayam Singh Yadav's son and my nephew, UP chief minister, who is also from rural background, did not give benefit to cane farmers in the minimum support price announced yesterday. The government should have shown more concern for farmers than sugar mill owners,” Verma said.  

On Yadav being nominated by the PM for his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, he said, “I am angry with Modi for making my nephew mukhya safai karmi (chief sanitation employee)”.