Priyanka taunts BJP for owning up Sardar Patel, staunch opponent to RSS

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday taunted the Bharatiya Janata Party for trying to own up Sardar Patel and paying homage to him on his birth anniversary.

She underlined that Patel was a dedicated leader of the Congress, very close to first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and a staunch opponent of the RSS, the fountainhead of the BJP.

In a tweet, she said two things are clear from the BJP's action of owning up Patel. They are:

-- The BJP does not have any freedom fighter since almost all freedom fighters belonged to the Congress; and

-- Even the enemies of great persons like Sardar Patel have to one day bow before them.

In a homage to Sardar Patel on Facebook, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi bowed to him on his birth anniversary, saying "we are all indebted to you for your services to the nation."

It also happened to be on Thursday the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi. Those assembled at the Indira Gandhi Memorial here to remember her included Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former vice-president Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, MPs and the Congress leaders.

Homage was paid to both Sardar Patel and Indira Gandhi also in the Central Hall of Parliament. In the evening, Sonia Gandhi presented the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration to Chipko Movement pioneer Chandi Prasad Bhatt(85) for the years 2017 and 2018 at the Jawahar Bhawan here. The award was instituted in the name of the late Prime Minister in recognition of outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions.

Bhatt, hailing from Gopeshwar in Uttarakhand, was hailed as a Gandhian environmentalist for the singular fight put up in association with noted environmentalist Sundarlal Bahuguna(92) in preservation and protection of forests in the Himalayas.