Congress was very upset today, and its leaders noted that no high-ranking minister was present at the traditional function in parliament to mark the anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth. Even Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu skipped the function, the party said.
November 14 is the birth anniversary of the nation’s first Prime Minister and floral tributes are paid to his portrait each year in the Central Hall of Parliament.
The head of Congress whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Extraordinary scene today in Parliament at the traditional function to mark the anniversary of the birth of those whose portraits adorn the Central Hall. President Lok Sabha is absent. President Rajya Sabha he is absent. Not a single minister present. Can it be more egregious than this ?! “
Extraordinary scene today in Parliament in the traditional function on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of those whose portraits adorn the Central Hall. Speaker Lok Sabha is absent. President Rajya Sabha is absent. There is not a single minister present. Can it be more egregious than this?
– Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) November 14, 2021
Other opposition leaders also condemned the move.
“Nothing surprises me anymore. This dispensation is destroying the great institutions of India, including Parliament, one day at a time,” Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien tweeted.
– Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 14, 2021
The function in the Central Hall this morning was attended by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma. In addition, the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, the head of Congress Sonia Gandhi and other members of parliament were present.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s portrait was unveiled by the then President of India, Dr. S Radhakrishnan, in the Central Hall of Parliament on May 5, 1966.
Congress had previously called the government after Nehru’s photograph was missing from posters made for the massive Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, “the grand celebrations planned for the 75th anniversary of Independence Day.
Calling the move “egregious,” Ramesh had tweeted: “Not surprisingly this regime and its toads disguised as scholars, but egregious nonetheless.”
The party’s spokesman, Gaurav Gogoi, said that no country removes the first prime minister from a website about the fight for freedom, calling the move “petty” and “injustice.” Congressional leader Shashi Tharoor said the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) had “disgraced” itself.
As an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, the IACHR has organized a series of conferences and seminars on the struggle for independence within the framework of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebration.
Calling the controversy “unnecessary,” the IACHR had said that the poster in question was just one of many launched as part of the celebrations. “There will be several more and Nehru will appear in them,” he added.