With the memorial lecture delivered by veteran academic Purushottam Agrawal, Kharge said Nehru laid the foundation for modern India and Congress has led the country to development, but PM Narendra Modi does not tire of asking “what did Congress do in 70 years?”
“Modi should answer what has he done? Congress did everything from raising life expectancy to literacy to irrigation to dams. Your (BJP/Modi) only policy is to divide the country, a reason why Rahul Gandhi is taking out ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’,” Kharge said to loud applause.
He alleged Modi is only renaming institutions and programmes created by Congress.
He said as UPA’s railways minister, he launched a train from Karnataka to the temple city of Varanasi on popular demand of religious leaders, but was shocked when the PM last week said in Bengaluru that he was starting the train. “Main bola mere engine kidhar gaye (I wondered where had my engines gone),” he said, to wild guffaws all around. He said Modi, as cover, smartly slipped in that he had turned it into a “fast train”.
In his lecture, Agrawal said Nehru was a victim of falsehoods and lies, but he was a visionary.
Kharge said the reality of Modi’s performance lies in government figures that point to 30 lakh vacancies in central government bodies, though the PM tried to make a big show of employment recently by distributing appointment letters to just 75000 candidates.
Referring to the PM’s recent comment that he receives “four kgs of abuses” every day from rivals, Kharge said he continuously misleads the country, and accused him of spreading falsehoods about differences between Nehru and Netaji Bose and Sardar Patel. But, he added, people were slowly becoming aware of the reality and seeing through his game-plan.
“We have to tell the people the truth about our history and policies, about Nehru, we have to publicise them,” Kharge exhorted party workers.
Besides Kharge, senior Congress leaders participated in the memorial lecture barring Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who paid their tributes to Nehru at Shanti Van and in Parliament. Kharge presided over the memorial lecture function.