Days after daring the Congress to make someone outside the Nehru-Gandhi family the party president for five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the grand old party threw its president Sitaram Kesri out of the party to pave way for Sonia Gandhi. Addressing a poll rally at Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh, the Prime Minister said that Kesri was removed unceremoniously, locked in a bathroom and thrown out on the footpath.
Referring to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s comments made a few days ago, the Prime Minister said that the Congress had said a chaiwala became the PM by the grace of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. “I challenged them (to show that) when he (Nehru) had established such a democratic and liberal system, then make someone from outside the Gandhi family the Congress president for at least five years,” he said.
“The country knows that Sitaram Kesri, who was from a Dalit and exploited community, was not allowed to complete his five-year term as the Congress president and was removed from the post.” He further said that the Congress could not tolerate a backward leader as its president for two years. “Then, how can they appoint someone, who is not from the Gandhi family, for five years,” he asked.
The Congress, on the other hand, rubbished the PM Modi’s claim saying that Kesri was given due respect. It also clarified that that he was not a Dalit but belonged to the OBCs community. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said in a tweet: “Kesri was a Bania OBC from Bihar and not a Dalit. However, when has the PM allowed facts or truth to stand in the way?”
The whole controversy began after Congress leader Tharoor said at an event for the launch of his book said that a chaiwala could become the Prime Minister because Nehru created such democratic structure and institutions.
Days later, the Prime Minister hit out saying that he would believe in Nehru’s democratic institutions the day Congress would appoint someone not from Nehru-Gandhi family as its President for five years. The Congress has been accused of promoting dynastic politics in the country after it elected Rahul Gandhi as its president unopposed.