REMEMBERING RAO … Former PM Narasimha Rao’s son piqued at Congress ignoring his father on birth anniversary

NEWS NARASIMHA RAO SON

NEW DELHI: A row has erupted over the failure of the Congress leadership to pay homage to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary on Friday. Rao’s son NV Subhash sought an apology from the Congress leadership, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, for the grave miss. He also held out the charge that the Nehru family purposely sidelined him after 1996, when Rao stepped down as PM following a general election debacle for the Congress. 

“The Congress party was worried that if anyone other than the Nehru family continued in leadership, the family will not be getting the limelight,” Subhash was quoted as telling ANI news agency Friday. “All failures of the Congress party have been attributed to PV Narasimha Rao and his contributions have not been acknowledged. I demand that Sonia and Rahul apologise, and come and pay tributes to the former PM,” he was quoted as saying.

Subhash had joined the BJP in 2014. He is an official spokesman of the BJP in Telangana. 

Narasimha Rao, who took over as PM immediately after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, ran the Indian government for a five-year term. He had entered politics as an MLA in Andhra Pradesh in 1957, and functioned as the fourth chief minister of the state from 1971 to 73. In later years, he won elections to Parliament repeatedly and functioned as Union Home Minister, Union External Affairs Minister and Union Defence Minister in successive Congress governments. Always a Congressman he retired from politics and left Delhi for his native place in Andhra Pradesh for a short while before the call came for him to return to Delhi and be the Prime Minister. 

Narasimha Rao had acquitted himself well as Prime Minister, steering India from a major economic crisis and putting India on the path to Globalization and Liberalization — some 10 years after China initiated the programmes and made big successes out of them. He as PM presided over the new measures put in place by Dr Manmohan Singh as finance minister in highly  appreciable ways. Singh was Rao’s choice for the finance minister post. Singh later went on to become Prime Minister of India for ten years from 2004, when the Congress party returned to power. 

Narasimha Rao was rumoured to have been uncomfortable with Sonia Gandhi seeking to do back-seat driving in governmental matters. Rao as PM had his own lines to pursue and did not want a politically inexperienced Sonia Gandhi to dictate him terms, as per some report in the media at that time. 

Narasimha Rao died of heart attack at age 83 in 2004. The Congress party, led by the new generations of the Nehru family, is reticent about observing his death and birth anniversaries. IHN-NN 

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