Congress left red-faced by its own journal

Criticises Nehru, Sonia. Lauds Patel

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | December 28, 2015 | Mumbai



In a major embarrassment, the Congress party was left red-faced on the day it celebrated its 131st Foundation Day. Articles appearing in the December issue of the party’s mouthpiece ‘Congress Darshan’ have criticised Jawaharlal Nehru and made controversial comments against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her father.


An unsigned write-up in its Mumbai unit's Hindi journal critiqued Nehru’s policies and blamed him for "the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet". The article was written to pay a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s on his death anniversary. The article states that Nehru should have listened to Patel's views on international affairs and that the relationship between the two leaders remained strained.
 
"Despite Patel getting the post of deputy prime minister and home minister relations between the two leaders remained strained and both had threatened to resign time and again. Nehru (PM) was in charge of foreign affairs and kept Kashmir with him, citing it as an international issue. But Patel, being deputy PM, would sometimes attend the cabinet meetings. Today's problems wouldn't have existed had Patel's foresight in the Kashmir issue been considered then," says the article.
 
Citing a letter that Patel reportedly wrote in 1950 to caution Nehru against China's policy towards Tibet, where Patel described China as unfaithful and a future enemy of India, it says “Had Patel been heard (by Nehru) then, the problems of Kashmir, China, Tibet and Nepal wouldn't have existed now. Patel opposed Nehru's move of taking the Kashmir issue to the UNO," adding, "Nehru did not agree with Patel's views on Nepal."
 
Another article on Sonia Gandhi gives details of her early life including her ambition to become an air hostess and alleges that her father was a member of the Italian forces that lost to the Russians in the World War. “Sonia Gandhi's father Stephano Maino was a former fascist soldier,” it alleges.

The article also describes how Sonia quickly rose to the position of party president and says, “Sonia Gandhi registered as a primary member of the Congress in 1997 and became the party’s president in 62 days. She also made an unsuccessful attempt to form a government.”
 
Mumbai Congress chief and editor of the journal Sanjay Nirupam took the blame for the articles and said, “It is an irreparable mistake. While I’m not involved with the day-to-day functioning of the journal, I take responsibility for the same. Action will be initiated against all those responsible, and steps would be initiated to ensure that same is not repeated again.” His loyalists complained that Nirupam’s detractors had deliberately leaked the matter to the press to target him. Editorial board member and party leader Bhushan Patil has said that the journal’s content editor Sudhir Joshi had been sacked.
 
The journal, which had been discontinued four years ago, has only been revived recently. “This was only the second edition after it was revived,” a party insider said.

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