75th anniversary of Quit India Movement: Smriti Irani criticises Sonia Gandhi's 'bitter and illiberal' speech

New Delhi: Union minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday attacked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over her speech on the Quit India Movement during a special discussion in the Lok Sabha, saying it was a "long, pitiable lament" over the loss of control Nehru dynasty wielded before her party's defeat in 2014.

In a Facebook post, Irani said Gandhi was bent upon to prove that blood is thicker than water and was 'bitter and illiberal".

The Congress president in her speech in the Lok Sabha had made veiled dig at the BJP-led government wondering whether the "forces of darkness" were trying to destroy the roots of democracy as "clouds of hate and division" were hovering over secular and egalitarian values.

Irani alleged that Gandhi also used "expressions such as 'nafrat aur badle ki raajneeti' (politics of hate and revenge) totally out of context to vitiate the atmosphere in the House and made it seem like an election campaign speech."

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was forward-looking, positive, unifying and gracious in his address as he exhorted people to rise above all kinds of differences, including those created by politics, to forge ahead by fighting poverty, injustice and terrorism.

"In contrast, Sonia Gandhi's speech lacked any passion or vision, bordering on the monotonous," Irani said.

Irani also said there are certain events in the life of a people when their representatives are expected to rise above partisan considerations to tap into solidarity, a latent sense of the 'we' feeling, that helps forge national identity, and added that the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement - a national uprising that convinced the British masters definitely qualifies for such a time. Gandhi, however, Irani said, failed that test of leadership while Modi was statesman-like.


Updated Date: Aug 10, 2017 08:14 AM

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