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Jairam Ramesh blasts Narendra Modi for claiming Patel legacy

Last Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 - 21:27

Kannur: In a shrill attack on BJP and Narendra Modi, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday 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.

The 2014 election is not between the Congress and the
BJP. But between the Congress and the RSS. Because whatever the RSS says, the BJP does, Ramesh said.

Elections in India are between political parties But the Gujarat Chief Minister wants to reduce elections to a contest of individuals and personalities and this the Congress party rejects, he said.

He said Modi`s developmental agenda is "a mask... A `parda` (curtain/veil)" and held "the real agenda is behind the parda".

"It is really behind the `parda`. His real agenda is Muzaffarnagar and in the next seven to eight months there will be a determined effort to create more Muzaffarnagars across the country. Development and governance are only phrases use to hoodwink the people. The only strategy the RSS knows is communal polarisation," Ramesh said.

Maintaining the Congress was the only party with a national footprint, e said the Congress was fighting the RSS only in seven or eight states of India whereas in most states the party was taking on regional parties or the Left.

"The Congress was the only political party with a national footprint. Congress is the only political party with national presence.

"We may be weak in some states strong in other states. But the BJP has no presence nationally. The Left has no presence nationally. Only the Congress has presence nationally."

On opinion polls predicting dismal performance of Congress in assembly elections, he said increasingly in India opinion polls are less polls and more opinion.

First Published: Friday, November 1, 2013 - 21:27
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