Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, on Sunday took a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while thanking External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, for her speech at the UN General Assembly session.
Gandhi wrote, “Sushma ji, thank you for finally recognising Congress governments’ great vision and legacy of setting up IITs and IIMs.”
Sushma ji, thank you for finally recognising Congress governments' great vision and legacy of setting up IITs and IIMs
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 24, 2017
Gandhi’s comments were in reference to Modi’s several speeches made in the past blaming the previous Congress government for doing nothing for the development of India. More notably in 2016, while speaking in the parliament, Modi had said, “If the Congress had helped the poor in 60 years, the poor wouldn’t still be facing trouble…We can’t ignore 60 years of misgovernance.”
The same year in November, while speaking in Karnataka, Modi said, “Enough has been looted. You have seen looters. For 70 years the country has been looted, give me 70 months I will clean it up.”
While addressing an election rally in Uttar Pradesh in February this year, Modi once again repeated his favourite line, “The country has been looted for 70 yrs; I have to return that to the poor.”
Modi hasn’t been alone in nullifying the performance of previous governments. His trusted lieutenant and the BJP’s national president, Amit Shah, too has been heard use ’70 years of misrule’ on several occasions. More recently in May, while marking the three years of Modi government, Shah had said, “”Some people are asking what did the Narendra Modi government do? I want to say, it did in three years what all governments did not do in 70 years.”
He was reacting to Gandhi, who had questioned the grand celebration by the government amidst complete economic chaos and growing unemployment.
Swaraj, while speaking at the UNGA on Saturday, had lashed out at Pakistan. Drawing a parallel, the external affairs minister had said that while Pakistan could only focus on terrorism, India had become an IT superpower in last 70 years.
She said, “Today I would like to ask a question to Pakistani politicians. Have you ever wondered that why when India and Pakistan became independent at the same time, India is now recognised as an IT superpower, whereas Pakistan is known as a terrorist nation. We set up IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and ISRO. What did Pakistan make? They set up Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Haqqani Network, Hizbul Mujahiddeen. We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists.”
First IIT in India was created in 1951 under Jawaharlal Nehru with a vision to create an autonomous educational institution. Since then, 15 more IITs have been established with all coming into existence under the Congress-led governments.
IIT Bombay was established in 1958, followed by those at Madras (1959), Kanpur (1959) and Delhi (1961). In 2012, The UPA 2 government had approved a scheme for setting up 20 IITs in PPP mode with an overall outlay of Rs 2,808.71 crore.
Some of the top names who graduated from IIT include Google’s global CEO, Sundar Pichai, Nandan Nilekani (co-founder of Infosys creator of Aadhar), Sachin Bansal (founder of Flipkart), Raghuram Rajan (former RBI governor), Nikesh Arora (Vice Chairman of SoftBank) and more crucially Manohar Parrikar (Goa chief minister and prominent face in the BJP).