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Crores being spent to project Gandhi family brand: Advani

Crores being spent to project Gandhi family brand: Advani

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: Hindustan Times
Date: July 11, 2011
URL: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Crores-being-spent-to-project-Gandhi-family-brand-Advani/Article1-719711.aspx

Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Sunday accused the UPA government of spending crores to project the Gandhi family brand through central projects and said it was trying to replace democratic rule with "dynastic rule". Speaking at the 110th birth anniversary function of Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee the former deputy prime minister said that 450 central projects were running in the country either in the name of Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi.

Various amounts were being spent on the projects, he said, adding, "Crores of rupees are being spent to project a family brand. Is this democracy? Democratic rule is being converted to dynastic rule".

Describing Mookerjee as an extraordinary soldier who laid down his life to keep the country united, Advani said, "his birthday was on July 6. But did the All India Radio broadcast any special programme on the occasion? It seems the Independence of the country and its subsequent development has been brought about by only one family and no one else".

Advani said that he once pointed inside the Parliament that five new projects have been named after Nehru, Indira and Rajiv.

"I asked the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) who was in the House whether there was no one else in the country after whom the projects can be named. I told him, if you cannot find anyone, then why not name a project after the prime minister who made you the finance minister?"

Advani said although Mookerjee, along with BR Ambedkar, was involved in drafting the Constitution, he had never accepted the idea of a separate constitution for Kashmir.

"In 1953, Jammu and Kashmir had a separate flag than the national tricolour. Shyama Prasad's campaign was to raise the national flag in J&K in which many died," the former BJP president said.

Stating that some leaders in Kashmir were demanding a pre-1953 position for the state, Advani said, "does this mean that there will be a separate President and Prime Minister for the state? That the national tricolour will not fly there? That the Supreme Court of India, nor the CAG, nor the Election Commission would have jurisdiction there? No BJP activist can accept this".

He expressed hope that Article 370 of the Constitution would be repealed some day.

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