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Congress Claims No Documented Evidence On Sengol As Symbol Of Transfer Of Power, BJP Hits Back

The sceptre 'Sengol' will be placed inside the parliament building, home minister Amit Shah had announced a few days

New Parliament Building
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Amid a row over the inauguration of the new parliament building, Congress claimed that there is no documented evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the 'Sengol' as a symbol of the transfer of power by the British to India. The sceptre 'Sengol' will be placed inside the parliament building, home minister Amit Shah had announced a few days.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said that the Prime Minister and "his drum-beaters" are using the sceptre for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. "This is typical of this brigade that embroiders facts to suit its twisted objectives," he said.

"There is no documented evidence whatsoever of Mountbatten, Rajaji and Nehru describing this sceptre as a symbol of transfer of British power to India. All claims to this effect are plain and simple -- bodgus," he said.

Meanwhile, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi completing nine years in office, the Congress on Friday also demanded his apology for what it said was a "betrayal" of the people and asked him nine questions on issues ranging from rising prices and unemployment to national security and social harmony.

The Opposition party also said the government should mark this day as 'Maafi Diwas' and released a booklet 'Nau saal, Nau sawaal'. It said Modi became the prime minister on this day nine years ago and therefore, the party wants to ask nine questions of him.

BJP leaders react

Amit Shah hit out at the Congress saying, "Why does the Congress party hate Indian traditions and culture so much? A sacred Sengol was given to Pandit Nehru by a holy Saivite Mutt from Tamil Nadu to symbolize India's freedom but it was banished to a museum as a 'walking stick'," Amit Shah tweeted, accusing the grand old party of heaping "another shameful insult".

The Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a holy Saivite Mutt, itself spoke about the importance of the Sengol at the time of India's freedom, Mr Shah said, accusing the Congress of calling the Adheenam's history "bogus".

BJP president JP Nadda said parties that are boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building are dynasty-run, "whose monarchic methods are at loggerheads with the principles of republicanism and democracy in our Constitution".

In a series of tweets, he said the boycott was an insult to the makers of the Constitution. The BJP chief said "elitist mindsets" of dynasts are preventing them from logical thinking and they are "unable to digest a simple fact that the people of India have placed their faith in a man hailing from a humble background".

The party armed with official growth figures, called Congress's nine questions as "a bundle of lies and a mountain of deception". Former minister and top BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad quoted several statistics in response to the grand old party's questions.

"These questions, full of frustration, have emerged out of Congress's hatred for PM Modi. These are not questions arising out of criticism, which they have a right to do, but are the result of a pathological hatred towards Narendra Modi," Prasad said.

He said he was 'amused' by Congress's claim that India's economy is in very bad shape. "The Indian economy was a part of the "fragile five" during former PM Manmohan Singh's tenure... Under PM Modi's nine years at the helm, it is among the top five globally," he said.

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The former minister then highlighted figures that he asserted indicated massive growth in the economy.

"Indian economy was 1 trillion dollars in 2014, it has now crossed 3.5 trillion dollars. India has more than 50 lakh crore forex reserves. India exported goods worth ₹ 36 lakh crore, this was just ₹ 19 lakh crore in 2014. It almost doubled," he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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