Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge Wednesday slammed BJP for using the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for their "vested interests." BJP remembering Patel was an "election gimmick", Kharge told reporters at Hubballi.
The Congress leader said, "Every year BJP remembers a different freedom fighter--sometimes they remember Patel, sometimes Gandhi for Swachch Bharat Abhiyan and sometimes they remember Dr B R Ambedkar and Subhas Chandra Bose. These are all their election stunts. They never had respect for those who fought for the freedom of India." Kharge claimed that 15-20 years ago BJP offices never had photos of Sardar Patel and Bose except those of RSS leaders such as Golwalkar. It was only Congress which respected all freedom fighters, he added. Kharge said every year he paid tribute to Patel on September 17 and celebrated the occasion as liberation day for Hyderabad-Karnataka region, which was under the control of the Nizam of Hyderabad who wanted Hyderabad to be a separate nation.
"Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister while Patel was Home Minister. Naturally, credit goes to the prime minister. It is not good to project somebody to undermine somebody else," Kharge said.
(With inputs from agencies.)