In a veiled attack at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said it was country's first PM- Jawaharlal Nehru who made it possible for a 'chaiwala' to become the Prime Minister of India.
Tharoor while addressing a gathering lauded Nehru for the institutional structures he created as prime minister. "If today we have a 'chaiwala' as Prime Minister, it's because Nehru Ji made it possible to create the institutional structures through which any Indian can aspire to rise to the highest office in the land," he said.
The lawmaker from Thiruvananthapuram further said that a consorted campaign of vilification, calumny and an astonishing amount of lies are out there on the internet against Nehru.
"If today the government can boast about Managlyaan, ask who created ISRO. Who decided that even poor India could dare to aim for the skies? Who created the IITs that sent so many bright young men to Silicon Valley that 40 per cent of the start-ups there are helmed by Indians?" he asked.
Lauding the contributions of the former prime minister to different fields, Tharoor added, “If today the government can boast about Mangalyaan, ask who created ISRO. Who decided that even poor India could dare to aim for the skies? Who created the IITs that sent so many bright young men to Silicon Valley where 40% of the start-ups are helmed by Indians?”
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was also present on the occasion, said that “precious legacy of Nehru is being undermined daily by those who rule us today”. She added, “They express disdain for Nehru for all that he did to build India that they are bent upon changing for worse.”
Gandhi appealed to the people of India to fight with determination to safeguard the country's democracy against those undermining it.
(With inputs from agencies)