The Congress on Friday strongly condemned the Narendra Modi government for removing the name of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi from Sadbhavna Diwas programmes.

Chhaya Verma of the Congress raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour, saying that Rajiv Gandhi’s name has been removed from ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’ programmes.

Supporting her, Congress’ Anand Sharma said the present regime was promoting people who have done nothing for the country.

“Rahul Gandhi is a martyr of this country and this country has declared his birth anniversary as Sadbhavana Diwas,” he said.

Sharma also demanded an inquiry into the matter.

“This government owes an explanation. It’s a great insult to the former Prime Minister,” he said.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Rajiv Gandhi died for unity of the country and his name cannot be removed from government schemes.

“The present government is naming schemes in the names of those who have not done anything for the country,” he said.

Azad said the name of Rajiv Gandhi should be restored immediately.

Responding to the opposition, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that all government schemes would no longer be named after a particular family.

“There are lots of people who have done a lot for the country. It is not possible to name schemes only after some people,” he said.

Sadbhavana Diwas is observed all over the country on August 20, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.

In August 2015, the NDA government refrained from mentioning former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s name in its office memorandum on observing Sadbhavana Diwas on August 20.

First Published | 3 February 2017 2:03 PM
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