Naqvi attacks Congress over leadership ‘confusion’

New Delhi: Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today attacked the Congress, saying the party is grappling with “confusion” over who its chief is and has become a “benami property” whose owner is unknown.

He made the remarks reacting to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s reported comment that Priyanka Gandhi is looking after the party’s assembly poll management rather than campaigning and that army chiefs need not go to the border to fight.

“I am not aware of how many army chiefs are there in the Congress. It is so confused…Soniaji is their army chief, Rahulji is, Priyankaji is, so is Robert Vadra,” Naqvi quipped.

The minister of state for minority affairs (independent charge) further alleged that the Congress has turned into a benami property whose owner is unknown.

“Congress has raised ‘to-let board’…anyone can gatecrash into it. It has become a benami property and the question is who is its owner,” he said.

The minister made the comments after launching Facebook page of Hunar Haat, the ministry’s initiative aimed at promoting talent among artisans from minority communities from across the country.

Naqvi claimed that around 15 lakh people have visited the 130 stalls the ministry has installed for artisans and craftsmen at the second edition of the Haat, being held in Connaught Place, after its launch on February 11.

Comedian Raju Shrivastav also visited the Haat and hailed the government’s efforts of giving the artisans a platform.

The Haat, to be held until February 26, is currently exhibiting and has up for sale exquisite pieces of handicraft and handloom work like Makrana Marble products, Bandhej from Sikar, Mojri from Rajasthan, Telangana’s Banjara embroidery, handmade locks, door handles along with Phool Patti works from Aligarh, and Cocoon-decorated products from Nagaland.

It also has a “bawarchikhana” (kitchen) where cuisines from different parts of the country, including Awadhi Mughlai foods from Lucknow, Dal Bati Churma and Thali of Rajasthan, Kerala’s Malabari food and Litti Chokha of Bihar are up for relishing.

The Haat is being organised through National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation under the Ministry of Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development scheme (USTAAD).

About 184 master artisans from 26 states and Union Territories had showcased their traditional art and skills at about 100 stalls at the first Haat held at India International Trade Fair, Pragati Maidan in November last year.