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Congress hits back at Modi over Indira Gandhi jibe, says he should stop 'insulting' former PMs

New Delhi: The Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop "insulting" former heads of government, a day after the Prime Minister cited a book to say Indira Gandhi paid no heed to the Wanchoo Committee's recommendation to demonetise high-value currency notes in 1971.

 Congress hits back at Modi over Indira Gandhi jibe, says he should stop insulting former PMs

PM Narendra Modi had accused Congress of putting its own interests before the nation's. Reuters

"Stop insulting former prime ministers. Change the narrative and mindset. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh to Indira Gandhi, it's a long list. When you insult them you do not insult Indira and Nehru, you also insult Lal Bahadur Shastri and Morarji Desai who demonetised high-value currency in 1978," the party's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, said at the FICCI conference.

Modi had cited a book to say that when the then Finance Minister YB Chavan went to Indira Gandhi in support of the exercise, she asked, "Only one question. Are no elections to be fought by the Congress party?"

Accusing the Congress of putting its interests before the country's, he had said what should have been done in 1971 has been done now by his government and that the delay in launching demonetisation caused a lot of damage to the country.

Replying to this, the Congress leader said, "It is sad. 1971 was the year when India gave Indira Gandhi a massive mandate. The same year we were challenged by the then East Pakistan. India had 10 million refugees. Genocide was going on in what is now known as Bangladesh. China, siding with Pakistan, had moved troops to the border. India had the courage and strength to take the decision and the rest is history."

The country had just celebrated Vijay Diwas on Friday to mark the win over Pakistan in the 1971 war. "It was a day to salute
Indira and not insult her," Sharma said.

Taking a dig at Modi for calling himself a fakir, Sharma said, "I do not have that kind of a wardrobe but I will not call myself a fakir. We are public servants. We must serve people and understand their pain. We must have humility."

Asked as to when Rahul Gandhi will make public the graft charges against Modi he claims to have proof of, Sharma said, "It will be done at the right time."

He also alleged that BJP purchased land in many states before the prime minister announced the decision to scrap high-value
notes on 8 November and demanded the Centre bring a white paper on demonetisation. "Crores of rupees were deposited in banks and all that information should come through a white paper," he said.

Sharma said the government in power needs to maintain balance "before issuing any narrative and for good governance. It is important to have a responsible opposition".

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Updated Date: Dec 17, 2016 20:11:31 IST

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