New Delhi, Oct 9: Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday declined Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to attend a function to unveil a statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel statue on Oct er 31.
In a strong two-page letter to Modi, Sharma accused Modi of using Sardar Patel’s legacy for political gain.
“The initiators of such a grand project must be guided by sincere motives and subscribe to the noble values of Sardar. It is important that his memory must not be coloured by partisan political agenda. Misusing the name of Sardar for political propoganda as you chose to do at Patna rally with a deliberate untruth was a disrespect to his memory,” Anand Sharma wrote in his letter to Modi.
Earlier, the Congress Party accused Modi of misrepresenting facts to appropriate Patel’s legacy.
Modi, however, clarified that the newspaper, Divya Bhaskar, had misquoted him.
Modi was quoted as saying that the Congress had no respect for Patel and that Jawaharlal Nehru was absent at his funeral.
The Congress hit back and released a video to counter Modi’s claim which shows Nehru present at Patel’s funeral.
The Congress also raised the point that Patel had criticised the RSS.
“Sardar Patel had attacked the RSS. Will the BJP and Modi accept that? Modi has withdrawn his comment because he has little knowledge of history,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said.
Sharma’s letter and Congress rebuttal came as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi were attending the inauguration of the renovated Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Museum in Ahmedabad.
It was the first time both were seen together after the BJP anointed Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. (ANI)