NEW DELHI (TIP): The Centre is planning a mega event to lay claim to the legacy of another Congress icon, Lal Bahadur Shastri. The occasion is the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war that was conducted under Shastri’s premiership.
According to the commemoration plan, the Centre is likely to order tableaux, public discussions and film shows in the Capital.
With high-voltage celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be working on his strategy to appropriate non-Gandhi family stalwarts of Congress, in line with the recent celebration of B R Ambedkar as well as the construction of a memorial for former Congress PM PV Narasimha Rao. The Centre has also commissioned a memorial for Jai Prakash Narayan, who is known for his anti-Congress movement.
Before he hit the election trail, Modi had accused the Congress of ignoring icons like Vallabhbhai Patel and Subhash Chandra Bose, managing to create a political mood that hurt the UPA.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar is said to have been entrusted with the task of planning the anniversary.
The war celebration plan is likely to raise concern in Congress as it would be another attempt to wean away a party icon by its bitter rival and saffron mascot. Ironically, Congress will have to quietly join the occasion because of its national significance and bear with the political sub-plot.