Days after triggering a huge controversy with his 'scorpion' jibe aimed at the PM, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has once again given a statement which is likely to stir a fresh row. Tharoor, who represents Thiruvananthapuram in Lok Sabha, used the phrase 'chaiwala' to refer to PM Modi while showering praise on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Speaking at an event in New Delhi, Shashi Tharoor said it was because of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru that a 'chaiwala' is the PM today.
"If today we have a 'chaiwala' as Prime Minister, it's because Nehru ji made it possible to create the institutional structures through which any Indian can aspire to rise to the highest office in the land," said Tharoor at the relaunch of his book, 'Nehru: The invention of India'.
He said there is "consorted campaign of vilification, of calumny" against the country’s first Prime Minister.
"We've seen a consorted campaign of vilification, of calumny, astonishing amount of lies that are out there on internet...Why is there this desire to undermine such a great son of India (Jawaharlal Nehru), somebody who laid the foundations for what we have created?" Tharoor said.
"If today the government can boast about Mangalyaan, ask who created ISRO. Who decided that even poor India could dare to aim for the skies? Who created the IITs that sent so many bright young men to Silicon Valley where 40% of the start-ups are helmed by Indians?" he went on to add while lauding the efforts of Pandit Nehru.
Former Congress president and UPA chairperspon Sonia Gandhi, who also attended the event, hitting out at the ruling BJP for undermining the legacy of Nehru.
Sonia Gandhi said Nehru's core values of democratic institution building, secularism, socialist economics and foreign policy of nonalignment was being challenged by the ruling dispensation.
"Nehru's precious legacy is being undermined daily by those who rule us today. They express disdain and contempt for Nehru for all that he did to build the India that they are bent upon changing for the worse," she said.