New Delhi: On the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Congress’ Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday launched a veiled attack on the ruling BJP, saying the country is being taken towards their “own direction” in the name of Mahatma Gandhi even though “those doing politics of falsehood will not understand” what he preached.
Sonia Gandhi, who was addressing party leaders and workers outside Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat here, insisted that her party is his true follower and believes in his ideology.
She said Mahatma Gandhi is the symbol of India “but those who want RSS to become India’s symbol will not understand what Gandhiji thought about multiculturalism.”
In an apparent attack on the BJP, Sonia Gandhi said, “those who are doing politics of falsehood will not understand that Gandhiji was worshipper of truth and non-violence. Those who want all the powers in their hands, will not understand what Gandhiji thought about Swarajya.”
Emphasising that “it’s not easy to follow the footsteps of Gandhiji”, the Congress leader said, “This is not the first time that people, using the name of Gandhiji, want to take everyone towards their own direction. Now they are using every means to do this. But the foundation of Gandhiji’s ideology is so strong that they will not succeed.”
She was addressing the party gathering after a padyatra (march), led by her son and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
The ‘Gandhi Sandesh Yatra’ began from Delhi Congress office at Rouse Avenue and culminated at Rajghat, a distance of about 3km. The march was accompanied by a truck, on which was mounted a big spinning wheel. A Congress leader said it symbolised the importance of khadi (hand spun cloth) and charkha (device for spinning thread) in the freedom movement. Scores of party leaders and workers participated in the march, which was earlier supposed to be led by Sonia Gandhi. But she could not do so because of her health issues and Rahul led it in her place. The party organised padyatras across the country on Wednesday to spread the message of Gandhian ideology. Leading a march in Lucknow, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi said: “Mahatma Gandhi taught truth. BJP should follow it first.”
Congress is locked in a tug of war with BJP over the issue of Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy. The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is vigorously pursuing programmes to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.