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Family-run parties present biggest danger to democracy, says PM Modi

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Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, February 9

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attacked family-run parties, saying they presented the biggest danger to democracy by negating its very essence and keeping talent out.

“Beta jaisa bhi hoga woh hi adhyaksh banega (No matter how the son is, he will be the party president),” PM said on the eve of first phase elections in UP, taking a veiled swipe at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.

Attacking the Samajwadi Party, BJP’s principal opponent in UP polls, the PM, in an interview to a news agency, called SP an outfit of fake socialists and said one family pocketed scores of government positions under the SP rule in the past.

“Fake socialists are dynasts. Ram Manohar Lohia was also a samajwadi, do you see his family anywhere? George Fernandes was a samajwadi, do you see his family? Nitish Kumar is working with us. He is a samajwadi. Do you see his family?” the PM asked on the eve of first phase elections in UP, where he said the state would best on BJP as in 2014, 2017 and 2019 elections.

Stepping up his offensive on the SP, the PM cited a letters he once received.

“The letter said 45 members of SP held one post or another when they were in power and everyone above 25 years in the SP family had got a chance to contest elections,” PM Modi said stressing the need to democratize parties to enable an inflow of talented youth.

Noting that there was a huge difference between two people from one family getting elected and the entire family controlling the party, the PM said, “This lie needs to be exposed.”

“If many people from one family get elected, that’s one thing. But when people from one family become president, treasurer, parliamentary board members of a party; if father can’t be president son becomes, his son becomes. This generation to generation hand down of power like rain, without dynamicshellip;only dynasty. When this happens the family becomes the party. The effort then is to save the family, forget the party; save the family, forget the country. This is a danger.”

The PM said India was being destroyed by family run parties across states.

“Youngsters have only seen leaders from two parties in Jamp;K. In Punjab, Haryana, UP, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, there are family run parties. This is a grave danger for democracy. If two people of one family become MLAs, party does not become family controlled. There is a difference. You cannot escape from such a grave sin by saying this,” the PM said.

He said in family based parties talent is the first casualty.

“Today the youngsters have nowhere to go so they join the BJP which is democratically run,” the PM said.

On Rahul Gandhi’s remarks yesterday that he did not need PM’s certificate for his great grandfather, Modi said, “I said nothing about anyone’s great grandfather or father or mother. I said what the PM of the country said. The government is a continuum. The nation has the right to now.”

The PM also rejected Gandhi’s accusations that his questions on China were not answered and said, “I cannot say anything about someone who does not attend the House. External Affairs and Defence Ministers have spoken in Parliament.”

Asked why the PM was attacking the Congress when he himself says the party is losing numbers in Lok Sabha, the PM said, “I am not talking of Congress in terms of numbers when I talk of Congress free India. Congress Party’s style of working is destroying the country. If this style of working was different, India would have reached somewhere by now. All PMs expect me and Atal ji came from Congress thought of corruption, dynastic politics, regionalism, caste based politics.”

The PM said the BJP government in UP was working transparently to aid Lakhimpur Kheri probe and had followed the Supreme Court directions in the matter.

“We set up an SC-led committee and agreed to appointing the judge as directed by the SC. The state government is working transparently,” he said, adding that he was out to win the hearts of small farmers and had repealed farm laws “in national interest”.

“Events in the future will reveal why it (farm law repeal) had become important. We believe in dialogue, not breakdown of dialogue,” said the PM.

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