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Rahul Gandhi visits memorials of former PMs, Mahatma Gandhi

NEW DELHI: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi visited the memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and several former prime ministers, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and paid tributes to them here on Monday.

Wearing a white T-shirt on a chilling December morning, with his security staff seen wearing suits and other Congress leaders wearing jackets and mufflers, Gandhi visited Veer Bhumi, Shakti Sthal and Shanti Van, the memorials of former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru respectively.

The Congress leader also visited Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, and Vijay Ghat, the memorial of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

He paid tributes to Vajpayee at his memorial, Sadaiv Atal.

Gandhi also visited the memorials of former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh and former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram.

“The holy land of India has taught the whole world lessons of love and non-violence. Keeping these ideals in heart, looking at the footprints of the sons of Mother India, we are moving forward…,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi while sharing pictures of him paying tributes at various memorials.

The Congress leader had initially planned to pay homage to the former prime ministers on Saturday after his “Bharat Jodo Yatra” march but later, rescheduled it to Monday morning.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said Gandhi is on a “tapasya” and wants to take everyone along.

While Congress leaders did not say whether Gandhi was giving any political message while paying tributes to the former prime ministers in a T-shirt on a cold December morning, they charged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders with spreading “lies” to defame him.

“The resilience of character of Rahul Gandhi and his resolve to spread compassion is the only issue than the clothes he or anyone wears. The all-round inflation, unemployment and atmosphere of manufactured hate bite more then the wintry cold and Mr Gandhi’s steely determination is centred on these issues rather then the blues of Delhi winter,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.

“How can one survive in 6 degrees only in a T-shirt? Only ascetics can have such self-control, self-power,” Shrinate said in a tweet in Hindi.

Asked about Gandhi wearing a T-shirt, Shrinate told reporters, “The BJP said Rahul Gandhi is going on a Christmas holiday abroad, but today, in this chilling cold, when BJP ministers, leaders and spokespersons, covered with blankets, were trying to break India, Rahulji was paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee at their memorials and completing his tapasya.”

BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya accused Gandhi of doing so for the media and said the Congress leader did not visit former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao’s memorial in Hyderabad.

“Rahul Gandhi visiting samadhis of former PMs is for the shutterbugs, chattering elites and part of his makeover exercise, the nth perhaps. If he was sincere about it, he should have visited the samadhi of Narasimha Rao in Hyderabad too. He didn’t, even though it was on his way…,” Malviya said in a tweet.



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