Congress disrespects PV Narasimha Rao again, Gandhis have no time to pay tributes

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi once again abstained from paying tributes to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao on the latter’s birth anniversary

Congress disrespects PV Narasimha Rao again, Gandhis have no time to pay tributes

HYDERABAD: Former AICC presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi of the Gandhi clan once again abstained from paying tributes to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao on the latter’s 102nd birth anniversary on Wednesday. The trio were neither seen at PVNR’s memorial in Rashtriya Smriti of Delhi nor did they spare even a few minutes to remember him from their social media accounts.

The Gandhi clan staying away from any event related to the non-Gandhi former prime minister was not all that surprising given the fact that the latter was badly humiliated even in his death in 2004. The iconic leader was denied a state funeral in the national capital, a move viewed even till now, as Sonia Gandhi’s way of getting even with the former prime minister.

Rahul Gandhi, like in 2021 and 2022, was too ‘busy’ this time too to commemorate PV Narasimha Rao, who kept the Congress party together and bailed the country out of economic crisis during the critical phase between 1991 and 1996. The latest tweet on his official Twitter handle on Wednesday screams with his anguish on the ‘mehengayi of tamatar (tomato) and toor daal (red gram)’ and nothing else.

There is no record of Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi ever turning up at his memorial and showing their respect to the leader. Their social media handles too remained oblivious of PVNR’s birth anniversary.

Barring a few miniscule leaders like Mallu Ravi, no TPCC bigwigs too showed interest in paying a visit to the PV Narasimha Rao memorial in the national capital. TPCC chief Revanth Reddy was not seen in Gandhi Bhavan throughout the day while only the second rung leaders of the party turned up to pay their tributes.

PV Narasimha Rao’s highs and lows in Congress

An intellectual, astute political brain, a great poet and polyglot of many languages and, above all, the architect of India’s economic liberalisation, PV Narasimha Rao owns a special chapter in India’s history of political governance. All these traits, coupled with his unstinted loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family, pulled him from the brink of an almost certain renunciation to the most coveted post of the country under dramatic circumstances.

As the Congress party’s most ideal ‘go-to man’, he became the Prime Minister in the aftermath of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991. And the way he led a Congress Government that was in minority to last its full five-year term, is perhaps the highpoint in proving his reputation as ‘Chanakya of India’s modern politics’. His success as Prime Minister and the pioneer of India’s quantum shift towards the era of liberalised economy earned him friends worldover and, unfortunately, a lot more enemies within his own party.

PV Narasimha Rao, once regarded as the best trouble-shooter within Congress, was soon reduced to a pariah as the Congress rank and file, with its archetypal subservience to the Nehru-Gandhi family, craved for Sonia Gandhi’s control over the party. The ghosts of the invisible frictions between PVNR and Sonia Gandhi became ostentatious many years later when PVNR passed away on December 23, 2004. The UPA regime, controlled by the most powerful Italian in Indian National Congress, refused a state funeral in Delhi alongside other stalwarts of the country.

The move evoked widespread criticism while the Congress party, at the behest of its high command, brazenly humiliated one of its own dear sons even in his death.

Consequently, PVNR’s mortal remains were flown to Hyderabad where they were consigned to flames on the side of Hussain Sagar, a place that was later christened as ‘Gnanabhumi’. A decade later in 2015, PV Narasimha Rao’s lost honour was restored in the national capital. A memorial was built for him by the NDA government at the Rashtriya Smrithi, a common place of memorials for all former PMs, Presidents and other dignitaries.

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