Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday accused the government of "treason", saying there was a "systematic destruction" of institutions that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had helped build.
His remarks came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 'Statue of Unity' of Patel in Gujarat.
Taking a swipe at Modi, the Congress chief tweeted, "Ironic that a statue of Sardar Patel is being inaugurated, but every institution he helped build is being smashed."
"The systematic destruction of India's institutions is nothing short of treason," he said.
In another tweet, Gandhi said Patel was a patriot, who fought for an independent, united and secular India.
"A man with a steely will, tempered by compassion, he was a Congressman to the core, who had no tolerance for bigotry or communalism. On his birth anniversary, I salute this great son of India," he tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies.)