Ram Nath Kovind insulted Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, alleges Congress; BJP slams Oppn for chiding president

The Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned for half an hour on Wednesday after the Congress raised objections on President's Ram Nath Kovind's maiden speech on Tuesday.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that in his speech, Kovind had compared Mahatma Gandhi to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. News18 quoted Sharma as saying, "Deen Dayal was never a freedom fighter nor had any role in the nation building. The BJP has every right to remember him, but he cannot be equated to Mahatma Gandhi." The Congress leader further said that the government is using Upadhyay's name in its advertisements, but it shouldn't be done.

 Ram Nath Kovind insulted Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, alleges Congress; BJP slams Oppn for chiding president

A file image of President Ram Nath Kovind. PTI

Sharma also raised objection to the fact that Jawaharlal Nehru was conspicuously missing from the president's speech. The Congress felt that this was an insult to the legacies of Gandhi and Nehru. Sharma further said that the president should 'rise above the party politics.'

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Kovind disrespected the freedom fighters by not mentioning Nehru's name in his speech, according to Zee News. "He (Kovind) mentioned two of the then ministers (Patel and Ambedkar) in his speech, but failed to mention the name of Nehru. He is not the President of BJP, but now the President of the country," News18 reported Azad as saying.

The BJP then accused the Congress of insulting the President and finance minister Arun Jaitley said Sharma's speech should be expunged. NDTV quoted him as saying that "The Chair must be guided by a principle that you can't have a zero Hour run only for the benefit of TV Cameras... that is something that is happening here. Anand Sharma's whole speech has to be expunged. Reference to a high constitutional authority is not allowed in the house".

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Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 14:08:14 IST