Nitin Gadkari, union minister and senior BJP leader, has once again praised Jawaharlal Nehru , calling him an ‘ideal leader of Indian democracy’. Gadkari’s praise of India’s first prime minister and Congress icon has not gone down with his party previously.

Clubbing Nehru and Atal Bihar Vajpayee, Gadkari said, “Vajpayee aur Nehru, yeh Hindustan ke loktantra ke do adarsh neta the, aur dono kehte the ki main apne loktantrik maryada ka paalan karunga (Vajpayee and Nehru were the two ideal leaders of our democracy. And both used to say that they would act with democratic dignity),”  reports the Indian Express. Gadkari was speaking at a function organised by Hindi news channel News Nation.

“Atalji’s legacy is our inspiration and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru also had a big contribution to Indian democracy,” he added.

Gadkari’s comments were in the context of disruptions in Parliament proceedings during the just-concluded Monsoon Session. The House was almost a washout with the frequent Opposition protests in both Houses over the three agricultural laws, rise in fuel prices and alleged Pegasus spyware snooping.

This is not the first time the veteran BJP leader has praised Nehru, the great-grandfather of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. In 2018, Gadkari had spoken about the virtues of “tolerance” and expressed his liking for Nehru’s speeches. Quoting from a speech of Nehru, he had said that half of the problems could be addressed if each individual decided not to create them.

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The BJP leader said that he used to like Nehru and would often hear his speeches. “He would say every person should think that he is not a problem for the country, and I would also think so,” the minister had said.

The Congress has often reciprocated the praise with Rahul Gandhi saying Gadkari was the “only one in the BJP with some guts.”

“Gadkariji, compliments. You are the only one in the BJP with some guts. Please also comment on: The Rafale scam and Anil Ambani, farmers’ distress and destruction of institutions,” he tweeted and tagged with it the report on Gadkari’s comments.

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The 2019 tweet was in response to Gadkari telling former ABVP workers to fulfil their domestic responsibilities first before working for the party or the country.

Gadkari is known to speak his mind on important political issues. In December 2019, Gadkari had said at an event in Pune that leadership should own up to defeat and failures. The remarks had come days after the BJP’s loss in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly polls.

Gadkari had also earned praise for Congress’s senior leader from Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan. ” I publicly praise his way of working either by writing articles or via tweets. But praising him does not mean that I support him politically. After all, he is a minister in the NDA government. So all I will say is that he is the right man but in the wrong party,” Chavan had said.