Nehru’s legacy: Maneka brushes aside Congress criticism of NDA govt



New Delhi: Union MinisterManeka Gandhi Friday brushed aside Congress’ criticism that the NDA government was trying to appropriate legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru, saying the nation’s first Prime Minister belonged to the whole country and not to any political party.

Launching nation-wide ‘Bal Swachhata Abhiyan’ on Children’s Day, Gandhi, the Women and Child Development Minister, however, refused to comment on the controversy over Congress not inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nehru’s birth anniversary celebration.

“Nehruji belongs to the country and not to any particular political party,” she said, adding that she does not have a “comment to make” on Congress’ decision not to invite Modi to an event to commemorate 125th birth anniversary of Nehru.

On reports of non-BJP state governments not being enthusiastic enough in launching the Bal Swachhata Abhiyan, she said that it should not be treated as a party programme.

“This is not a party programme, rather a movement. And this movement should not be limited to a day,” the Minister said.

The Abhiyan is a part of the nationwide sanitation initiative of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ launched by the Prime Minister on October 2.

Noting that children can play a very important role in achieving a Swachh Bharat, she said they can become ambassadors of cleanliness and motivate others to keep their homes, schools and surroundings clean.

The programme was launched by the Minister at Anganwadi Centre Maidan Garhi area here amid a large number of children and women taking a pledge of maintaining hygiene by adopting healthy habits.

Calling for a “change in mindset”, she expressed the hope that the new generation will keep the country clean and healthy.