Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday claimed there is no documented evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the ‘Sengol’ as a symbol of transfer of power by the British to India.
He also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his drum-beaters are using the ceremonial sceptre for their political ends in Tamil Nadu.
The ‘Sengol’ will be installed close to the Chair of the Lok Sabha speaker after the new Parliament building is inaugurated by Modi on May 28, an event 20 Opposition parties, including the Congress, are boycotting.
On Thursday, the BJP had alleged that the Congress displayed disregard for Hindu traditions by calling the sacred ‘Sengol’ a ”golden stick gifted” to India’s first prime minister Nehru and tucking it away in a museum.
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The vesting of the ”sacred ‘Sengol”’ with Nehru, on the eve of India’s Independence, was the exact moment of transfer of power from the British to India, BJP leader Amit Malviya had said. On Twitter, Ramesh said, ”The sceptre is now being used by the PM (prime minister) and his drum-beaters for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. This is typical of this brigade that embroiders facts to suit its twisted objectives. The real question is why is President Droupadi Murmu not being allowed to inaugurate the new Parliament.” He claimed that a majestic sceptre conceived of by a religious establishment in the Madras province and crafted in Madras city (now Chennai) was indeed presented to Nehru in August 1947.
”There is no documented evidence whatsoever of Mountbatten, Rajaji and Nehru describing this sceptre as a symbol of transfer of British power to India. All claims to this effect are plain and simple — bodgus,” he said.
”Wholly and completely manufactured in the minds of a few and dispersed into WhatsApp, and now to the drum-beaters in the media. Two of the finest Rajaji scholars with impeccable credentials have expressed surprise,” the Congress general secretary communications said.
While announcing the boycott, the Opposition parties had said the prime minister’s decision to inaugurate it by himself, ”completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response”.
”Is it any surprise that the new Parliament is being consecrated with typically false narratives from WhatsApp University? The BJP-RSS distorians stand exposed yet again with maximum claims, minimum evidence,” Congress general secretary communications Ramesh said in his tweet.
He said the sceptre presented to Nehru was later kept for display at the Allahabad Museum. What Nehru said there on December 14, 1947 is a matter of public record despite whatever labels may say, Ramesh said.