A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi challenged the Congress to appoint a non-Gandhi as party president for five years, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday listed out the names of Congress presidents from outside the Gandhi family.
Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, also said that he was “grateful” that the Prime Minister is concerned about who is elected as Congress President, questioning if Modi will spend half the time and speak about demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST), Rafale, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“To jog PM Modi’s memory: among the Congress Presidents since 1947 were Acharya Kripalani, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Purushottamdas Tandon, U. N. Dhebar, Sanjiva Reddy, Sanjivaiah … Kamaraj, Nijalingappa, C. Subramanian, Jagjivan Ram, Shankar Dayal Sharma, D.K. Barooah, Brahmananda Reddy, P.V. Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri,” he said.
The senior Congress leader also said that the party was proud of the humble origins of post-Independence leaders like “Babasaheb Ambedkar, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Kamaraj, Manmohan Singh and many others. Pre-Independence, there were thousands like them”.
Attacking the Prime Minister, he said: “Grateful that PM Modi is concerned about who is elected as Congress President and he devotes a lot of time talking about it. Will he spend half the time and speak about demonetisation, GST, Rafale, CBI and the RBI?
“Will PM Modi speak about farmers’ suicides, massive unemployment, lynchings, rape crimes against women and children, anti-Romeo squads, gau rakshak vigilantism and increasing terror attacks?”
Modi, on Friday, hit the party after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s remarks that a “chaiwala” (tea-seller) became Prime Minister because of Jawaharlal Nehru’s commitment to democracy.