Mumbai: The Congress is in a flap over its mouthpiece in Maharashtra featuring articles that have questioned Jawaharlal Nehru, the party’s biggest icon, and also made controversial comments on Sonia Gandhi.
An article in the December issue of “Congress Darshan”, while describing Sonia Gandhi’s life, says that her father was a member of the fascist forces in Italy.
Another article says Mrs Gandhi became Congress president 62 days after joining the party as a primary member in 1997, and also made a failed attempt to form government.
In yet another article, there is a detailed critique of Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies and the repeated suggestion that the first prime minister should have taken his deputy Sardar Valabhbhai Patel’s advice.
The article says that if Jawaharlal Nehru had taken into account the views of Sardar Patel, who was also the home minister, the Kashmir situation would not have come to what it is today.
“Despite Patel getting the post of deputy prime minister and home minister, the relations between the two leaders remained strained, and both had threatened to resign time and again,” the article says, adding: “If Nehru had embraced Patel’s foresight, many problems in international affairs would not have existed.”
The article cites a letter that Sardar Patel reportedly wrote in 1950 to caution Jawaharlal Nehru against China’s policy towards Tibet, in which he described China as “unfaithful, and a future enemy of India.”
“Had Patel been heard (by Nehru) then, the problems of Kashmir, China, Tibet and Nepal wouldn’t have existed now,” says the unnamed author.
Senior party leader Sanjay Nirupam, who is the editor of Congress Darshan, said: “The kind of words that have been used in Congress Darshan are worrying. I take responsibility for this, and the matter shall be investigated thoroughly. We will take action against those responsible and ensure that this never happens again.”
The controversy has emerged on a day the party is celebrating the 131st anniversary of its birth.
“If any Congress mouthpiece has written something like this, then the All India Congress Committee will look into it,” said former union minister Salman Khurshid.