Shillong: A day after later former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of carrying his ashes across India for political gains in 2019 Lok Sabha Election, the saffron on Friday slammed her saying she was “politicising” his death. Also Read - 'India Feels The Absence...', Rahul Gandhi Launches Veiled Attack on PM Modi on Manmohan Singh's Birthday
“She (Shukla) is with the Congress and had also contested elections on their ticket. She is trying to politicise it (Vajpayee’s death). It is unfortunate… We believe this far beyond and above politics,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said. Also Read - New CAG Report Admits 'Technology Transfer' Shelved in Rafale Offsets: Congress
“But we don’t see it as a political exercise. Some people have also pointed out why BJP is taking Atal’s ashes across the country. This is not the first time this has happened…it’s happened with several Prime Minister before Atal — Nehru’s ashes and Indira Gandhi’s ashes also went to several states,” Kohli said. Also Read - Why no Summons For Kangana Ranaut Who Admitted to Taking Drugs: Nagma Questions NCB
“I think that opportunity to people to offer their homage is not a political opportunity but a mark of respect,” he said. He added that the idea behind taking his ashes across the country was to give an opportunity to the people to pay their respects.
“Vajpayee was the longest serving non-Congress Prime Minister. He was a person who was loved across party lines,” Kohli said.