New Delhi: Launching an all-out offensive against the Congress and its leaders for questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lineage, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the Grand Old Party considers only a “great surname as a political brand”.Also Read - India Successfully Tests 'Akash Prime' Missile, Destroys Aerial Target | Watch
The finance minister, in a Facebook post, said, “Millions of talented political workers who come from modest family backgrounds would fail by the Congress test of leadership.” Also Read - Bharat Bandh: Delhi Police Tightens Security, Intensifies Patrolling At Borders | Key Updates
“Merit, talent, ability to inspire and lead would not be a virtue. The Congress considers only a great surname as a political brand,” he added. Also Read - UP Cabinet Expansion: CM Yogi Adityanath Expands His Team Ahead of Assembly Polls, Inducts Jitin Prasada, 6 Others
Jaitley’s attack comes close to the heels of Congress leader Vilas Muttemwar’s personal attack on the prime minister, where he said that while everyone knows Rahul Gandhi’s father’s name, no one who Modi’s father was.
Earlier, Congress leader Raj Babbar kicked up a row by comparing the depreciating value of rupee to PM Modi’s mother’s advanced age.
Jaitley further said that he asked his acquaintances three simple questions but failed to get a definite answer to any. His questions were: What is the name of Gandhiji’s father; What is the name of Sardar Patel’s father; What is the name of Sardar Patel’s wife?
“The dangers of officially glamorising one family at the cost of those who made a far greater contribution is dangerous both for the nation as also for the party to which they belong. The contribution of other great stalwarts like Patel and Subhash Chandra Bose is downplayed. Members of one family are projected as larger than life. Their aberrations become national aberrations. The party adopts them as its ideology,” he said.
The Finance Minister said that the real strength of Indian democracy would be when the “charismas of some families is completely shattered and parties, through a democratic process, throw up leaders of merit and competence”.
He said although Sardar Patel, who was a frontline leader of the freedom movement and was the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, negotiated the transfer of power with the British, the Congress government rejected the proposal to build his statue at Vijay Chowk in the national capital.
“The country had to be satisfied with the installation of his statue at a traffic round-about on Parliament Street,” Jaitley said.
He said the dangers of officially glamorising one family at the cost of those who made a far greater contribution “is dangerous” both for the nation as also for the party to which they belong.
He said the silver lining is that country is changing and aspirational India judges parties and leaders very harshly.
“They don’t accept whoever is imposed. They ask difficult and penetrating questions and their yardstick is very tough. They look for leaders of integrity, they look for men and women who can inspire them, who are decisive and can lead the nation. To them surnames don’t matter ? competence and capacity does,” Jaitley said.
Slamming the Congress and its leaders for launching personal attacks on him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the party has lost people’s trust which is why they have resorted to hurling abuses on the behest of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
“After my mother, they (Congress) have dragged the name of my father, who left this world 30 years ago, in politics,” said PM Modi, while addressing a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha.
“We never make any personal attacks on anyone’s family. We criticized the post they held. But why are Congress leaders making personal attacks on my mother and father,” he added.