'Indira Rule Worse Than British': Bihar Website Edited As Congress Fumes

'Indira Rule Worse Than British': Bihar Website Edited As Congress Fumes

The Congress, which is a partner in the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, said it would like a clarification from the chief minister.

Patna:  The history of Bihar as told by a state government website has hastily been edited after it was highlighted that it made an unflattering assessment of Indira Gandhi's rule at the Centre in the 1970s.

The Congress is a partner in the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar and the party's state unit is livid. In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Tom, Vaddakan said, "We have heard about it and our Bihar unit has protested. Delhi is taking note.  There is a need for clarification on this issue by Nitish ji."

The website's section called History of Bihar, had mentioned former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the Congress in the context of socialist leader Jay Prakash Narayan or JP, whom both Nitish Kumar and his other partner in Bihar, Lalu Yadav of the RJD venerate.  

Till yesterday the website said  JP "steadfastly and staunchly opposed the autocratic rule of Indira Gandhi," and documented the Bihar leader's 1975 arrest and incarceration at Delhi's Tihar Jail, "where notorious criminals are jailed."

The earlier ‘History of Bihar’ section, now edited, on the Bihar government website (Website screengrab)

JP, the website had said, "who had fought for India's freedom alongside Indira Gandhi's father, Jawahar Lal Nehru, received a treatment that was worse than what the British had meted out to Gandhiji in Champaran in 1917, for his speaking out against oppression." It said the JP movement brought an end to Emergency and led to Indira Gandhi's "massive defeat" in the next elections.

The newly edited portion has no mention of Indira Gandhi or Emergency. "JP's substantial contribution to modern Indian history continued up until his death in 1979. It was he who led a movement that led to massive win of a non-Congress government -The Janata Party - at Delhi, for the first time," it now states.

The BJP is sniggering about the gaffe, likely left over from the days the Congress was an opposition party in Bihar. "The Congress has to face the truth," said the BJP's Muqtar Abbas Naqvi.

In state elections held in November last, Nitish Kumar led the JDU-RJD-Congress coalition to a massive win the BJP, his ally for 17 years before they parted ways.

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