"(Indira Gandhi) Took 32 Bullets For Country, But...": Row On Vijay Diwas

Rahul Gandhi was similarly scathing; in Uttarakhand he said Indira Gandhi, his grandmother, "took 32 bullets for the country... but her name was not mentioned"

Vijay Diwas 2021: Indira Gandhi was the country's first and, so far, only woman Prime Minister (File)

New Delhi:

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has ripped into the "misogynist BJP government" after it seemed to skip any mention of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during Thursday's Vijay Diwas celebrations - Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of India's victory over Pakistan in 1971.

Ms Gandhi Vadra's brother Rahul Gandhi was similarly scathing; the Lok Sabha MP said Indira Gandhi, his grandmother, "took 32 bullets for the country (she was shot dead in 1984) but her name was not even mentioned at a government event".

Indira Gandhi was at the head of the Congress government in power during the 1971 war.

"Our first and only woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, is being left out of the misogynist BJP government's Vijay Diwas celebrations. This, on the 50th anniversary of the day that she led India to victory and liberated Bangladesh..." Ms Gandhi Vadra tweeted.

"Narendra Modi ji... women don't believe your platitudes. Your patronising attitude is unacceptable. It's about time you started giving women their due," she said.

With her tweets Ms Gandhi Vadra posted four black-and-white photographs - including one of Indira Gandhi visiting a wounded soldier and another of her meeting armed forces officers.

Rahul Gandhi said: "(Indira Gandhi) took 32 bullets for country but her name was not even mentioned at a government event in Delhi for the 1971 war anniversary".

"But families who made no sacrifice for the nation cannot feel this," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, both Houses of Parliament paid tribute to the soldiers who had died in the war. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said soldiers' sacrifices would "inspire future generations" and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu praised their "display of dauntless courage".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted an effusive photo tribute to fallen soldiers.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, played down the Congress' protests on this issue and told NDTV that Indira Gandhi's name had, in fact, been mentioned.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's attack on the BJP on Thursday was a pointed two-for-one swipe with one eye on a whole raft of elections next year, including in the politically key state of Uttar Pradesh and another in Punjab, where her Congress is scrambling to mount a re-election campaign.

Ms Gandhi Vadra is leading the Congress' charge, particularly in UP, where she has targeted the BJP over its record on women's safety and highlighted the fact "all women have to bear exploitation".

Last week she launched a "woman's manifesto" that offered free LPG cylinders, cash transfers, and a promise to fight for greater representation for women in legislative bodies, including the Parliament.

With input from PTI

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