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Sonia Gandhi’s jab at BJP in Lok Sabha: Some opposed Quit India movement

NEW DELHI: Congress president

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi speaks during the Indira Gandhi Centennial Lecture, organised on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday.PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist(PTI11_19_2016_000257A)

took a jab at the BJP without naming it, when she said in the Lok Sabha that “some organisations opposed the Quit India movement”. Sonia’s comment was a pointed reference to VD Savarkar, whom the BJP admires, who opposed the 1942 movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. “We must not forget that some organizations opposed the Quit India Movement, such organisations had no role in the freedom struggle,” said Sonia in an address in parliament on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement. The Congress president also made sure to highlight the sacrifices of Congress leaders during the freedom struggle. “During the freedom struggle, Pandit Nehru spent several years in jail, many Congress workers died in jail,” she said. “A lot of atrocities were committed on the (Indian National Congress) protesters, but no one stepped back,” she added. The Congress president took another aim at the BJP – again without naming it – when said that “debate in the public sphere is being restricted”. Savarkar, whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP hold in high esteem, was with the Hindu Mahasabha when Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in August 1942. He opposed the Movement and officially boycotted it, according to several historical documents. Savarkar wrote a letter titled ‘Stick to your Posts’, in which he instructed those Mahasabha members who were also “members of municipalities, local bodies, legislatures or those serving in the army…to stick to their posts” across the country, and to not join the Quit India Movement at any cost, says a 2013 book, ‘Hindu Mahasabha in Colonial North India, 1915-1930: Constructing Nation and History’, by Prabhu Bapu. The Congress earlier tweeted that the Hindu Mahasabha “deliberately stayed away from India’s freedom struggle”

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