Jairam Ramesh takes a dig at PM Modi, says Nehru never missed Parliament

Jairam Ramesh (left) and PM Narendra Modi.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's absence during Rafale debate in Parliament, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Saturday targeted the BJP and the RSS for criticising Jawaharlal Nehru while suggesting that the former Prime Minister never stayed away from major discussions in Parliament.

On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Modi for being absent from Parliament a day after the Congress president challenged Modi for a debate in the House on the Rafale jet deal.

Speaking after the release of a book, Nehru – Mithak aur Satya, Ramesh said the Prime Minister, his Cabinet colleagues and the RSS headquarters were indulged in spreading wrong information about Nehru. "Completely wrong information is being spread about him on social media."

Ramesh said there was a "systematic attack" on the legacy and achievements of Nehru since 2014. He said he was surprised to see in past four-five years a lot of "false information" was being spread about Nehru's relationship with Sardar Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia.

"But there are not many people to counter that. The Congress alone could not counter that, because we have made a mistake… (to see) Panditji as a leader of Congress only. He was leader of the entire country…" he said.

At a time when parliamentary sessions continued for 110-120 days every year, Nehru attended all its sessions, Ramesh said. "The (former) PM used to attend Parliament, hear the debates and criticisms, and reply. I have no hesitation in saying that roots of parliamentary institutions have strengthened because of only Pt Jawaharlal Nehru," he said.

The Congress leader added that when China attacked India in 1962, four MPs including, Atal Bihari Vajpayee wrote to then PM to call the session of the parliament, and Nehru had called the House in three days.