KANNUR: In a shrill attack on BJP and Narendra Modi, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh today said it was an ‘insult” to Sardar Patel that people “who had been brought up in ideologies that inspired assassination of Mahatma Gandhi” were claiming his legacy.
“I think this is an insult to Sardar Patel and to his legacy for such an individual to make the claim. I think with his ambition to be prime minister of the country, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate will do anything,” Ramesh said at a meet-the-press here.
The Congress leader said Patel would have completely disapproved of any man who believed in political autocracy, social divisiveness and economic cronyism.
Alleging that Modi’s model is of “political dictatorship,” Ramesh said the Gujarant chief minister had been running virtually “a one-man dictatorship in Gujarat”.
He said the 2014 parliamentary polls are not going to be a contest between the Congress and the BJP but a fight between the Congress and the RSS.
“It is very strange that ideologies that inspired the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, people who believe and who have been brought up in these ideologies are now trying to claim the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel,” Ramesh said.
When Gandhi was assassinated by people inspired by certain ideologies, it was Sardar Patel who banned the RSS as home minister of India, he said.
“The prime ministerial candidate of the BJP can try to change his image. He has been trying to change his image ever since he became a prime ministerial candidate.
“The Sardar was a Congressmen, was the architect of India’s unity. He was one of the closest lieutenants of Mahatma Gandhi. He and Jawaharlal Nehru worked together for over 35 years.
“They had their differences like everybody has. That differences were not private, they were political, they were public but they united in the cause of building the Indian nation state,” Ramesh said.