Centre plans mega event to mark 50th anniversary of 1965 war

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.

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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.

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