Free Press Journal

Stamp row: Cong escalates attack on Centre, demands apology


Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Escalating its attack on the Centre, Congress today demanded an apology for the decision to discontinue postal stamps on Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, and said the Modi government’s entire argument of all stamps being about just one family is “nothing but an oxymoron”. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hit out at Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for defending the decision and alleged that he un ertook an exercise in brazening it out through “white lies and deliberate misleading”.

Dubbing the move as “blatantly partisan and petty exercise”, Surjewala said, “The entire argument given by Ravi Shankar Prasad about all stamps being about just one family is nothing but an oxymoron.” “The Telecom Minister seems to have gotten blinded by his hatred for Congress and his party’s inadequate contribution to nation building. He seems to have become a victim of his own rhetoric,” Surjewala said in a statement.

Noting that Indira and Rajiv had served the country as Prime Minister for 21 years, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma earlier in the day said the decision reflected a “very narrow mindset” of this government and that if the government has some shame left, it should apologise for the decision.

Claiming that Prasad has “misled” the nation and “lied” on record from the platform of Press Information Bureau, Surjewala said records easily available in public domain show that stamps were issued in the name of not only Congress leaders, leave apart leaders from a particular family, but leaders and nation builders belonging to different political parties and ideological hues.

To drive home his point, Surjewala said the Congress when in government released stamps in the names of many people who were either political adversaries or held contrarian ideology like Jayaprakash Narayan, Raj Narain and Veer Savarkar. Earlier, defending the government decision to discontinue stamps of Indira and Rajiv, Union minister Prasad said, “In the definitive stamp series, the focus was on one family… though other names were there.”