New Delhi: Almost a week after Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death, his niece, Karuna Shukla, on Thursday raked up a controversy by alleging that the BJP is politicising the former prime minister's death for electoral gains in 2019 polls.
"The BJP is selfish and doing politics in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Using his name, they are prepping for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls," said Karuna Shukla in an interview to News18.
Shukla alleged that the BJP profited from Vajpayee's name during his lifetime and now after the leader's death it was still using it for political gains.
"The BJP is not at all ashamed over politicising the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee," said Shukla, a former Lok Sabha MP who was denied a ticket by the BJP in 2014 and later resigned from the party.
She cautioned that the electorate will be able to see through this charade.
As Vajpayee's funeral procession left the BJP headquarters for Smriti Sthal, PM Modi, Amit Shah and other senior BJP leaders walked behind the vehicle, along with hundreds of party workers who had gathered to pay their last respects.
The late Vajpayee's ashes will be immersed in rivers across the country, with top leaders participating in a ritual that has been dubbed "Atal Kalash Yatra" by the ruling BJP.
The BJP leaders have been tasked with the job of organising yatras or processions, and condolence meets, as the urns are taken to rivers.
At an event in Delhi, PM Modi and Amit Shah handed over urns wrapped in red cloth with Vajpayee's ashes to state party chiefs.
The party has asked all its ministers and lawmakers to participate in the Kalash Yatra events in their states.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of India's tallest leaders and the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in power by leading a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics and superlative oratory, died on August 16 after a prolonged illness. He was 93.