The Congress in Kerala on Sunday lashed out at the BJP, alleging that the party in power at the Centre is more concerned about itself rather than the country, a sharp contrast to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who put the nation first before everything.
The view was expressed by veteran Congress leader and former Union Defence Minister A K Antony while speaking on the occasion of Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary.
"When he (Rajiv Gandhi) was Prime Minister he put the country first before the interests of the party. However, the party (BJP) in power at the Centre is more concerned about itself than the nation.
"They are not concerned if the country burns, if there is communal violence or if there is any other form of unrest. They are only concerned with ensuring they remain in power," Antony alleged at the remembrance ceremony held at Indira Bhavan here.
He claimed that when Rajiv Gandhi was PM, he ensured peace in Punjab, Assam and Mizoram at the cost of the Congress's power in those states.
Antony also claimed that the late PM of India was behind women empowerment in the country. "His decisions as PM were also responsible for political empowerment of Dalits and adivasis."
Antony said that had Rajiv Gandhi's life not been cut short, and he had another stint as PM, the face of the country would have changed for the better.
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Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and MP K Sudhakaran, who also spoke on the occasion, alleged that the then government in power had removed the SPG protection given to Rajiv Gandhi despite being aware of the threat to his life.
"The current government has removed the SPG protection of Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and her daughter Priyanka. If there is anyone who needs SPG protection, it is them. One can only guess the reason behind removal of their SPG protection," Sudhakaran said.
The Congress also pledged to observe the day as Anti-Terrorism Day.
Rajiv Gandhi, who was India's prime minister between 1984 and 1989, was assassinated by LTTE terrorists on this day at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu in 1991 during an election campaign.
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