Dalit leader Sitaram Kesri was ‘thrown out’ to make way for Sonia: PM Modi

Raipur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday slammed Congress and its Nehru-Gandhi legacy over the Grand old party’s comment that a “tea seller” could have the country’s top job was owing to the foundation laid by Jawaharlal Nehru.

Speaking at an event in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, where opinion polls have predicted a wafer-thin majority for the Congress – PM Modi said that it was just a trick to claim credit. The Congress has given shabby treatment to any leader who did not belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family, he said.

As an example, he cited Sitaram Kesri, the Congress stalwart who took charge of the party from 1996 to 1998. Sitaram Kesri, a Dalit leader, was “thrown out of office and into the footpath” to make way for Sonia Gandhi to take over the reins of the party, he said.

“Earlier Delhi had a remote-controlled government. The remote was in hands of a family which was afraid of the BJP,” he said, targeting the Congress and the Gandhis.

Modi challenged the Congress to select someone “capable” as their party president who doesn’t belong to “that one family”. “Remember the days when four generations of a family ruled the country. What was the fate of people? They only thought about welfare of one family but never gave a thought about welfare of people. How can we trust them that they will fulfil aspirations of people now,” Modi said.

The prime minister claimed that Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh also faced a lot of challenges from the then Congress government at the Centre. “For 10 years, the Centre was ruled by a remote control government which never paid attention towards Chhattisgarh,” Modi alleged.

(With inputs from PTI)