In the fiery speech delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked “ Your party's Chief Minister, a schedule caste Chief Minister had come to the airport to receive Rajiv Gandhi.. He was openly insulted (as) an elected chief minister of a state… And you talk about democracy?”.
While the Congress party is yet to directly respond to the allegation, the incident referred to has been well-documented.
As per reports, in 1982, Rajiv Gandhi screamed at then-Chief Minister of Andhra Tantuguru Anjaiah at the Hyderabad Begumpet airport.
While Rajiv Gandhi was the General Secretary of the Congress Party at the time, he was on a private visit to Hyderabad and was reportedly furious about crowds of party workers present at the airport when he arrived.
Reports also claim that Gandhi, in a moment of anger, referred to Anjaiah as a “buffoon”.
An insulted Anjaiah then told Gandhi that he “came by the grace of Madam” and was carrying out his duties “under her orders”, while referring to Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi sacked Anjaiah shortly after the incident in February 1982.
This insult to one of the most respected dalit leaders of Andhra Pradesh was resented across the state. It is widely believed that it was this insult that cemented the nebulous political ambitions held by N T Rama Rao and led to the creation of the Telgu Desam Party, reportedly with the slogan Telugu Atmagowravam (Telugu self-respect).
Should Rahul Gandhi not directly respond this historical fact raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi? And will it not directly affect his chances in 2019?