Narendra Modi fiasco over Sardar Patel gets BJP boost

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 31 2013, 03:23am hrs
Defending the reported faux pas of its Prime Ministerial candidate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, BJP today said Jawaharlal Nehru had not only skipped Sardar Patel's funeral but also given a miss to the last rites of India's first President Rajendra Prasad.

"Nehru had not only not attended the funeral of Sardar Patel but also missed Rajendra Prasad's funeral. I remember clearly as a very young lad that Nehru had not attended Prasad's funeral. Dr S Radhakrishnan and Lal Bahadur Shastri attended but not Nehru", Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

He insisted some senior officials have also corroborated the fact that Nehru did not attend Sardar Patel's funeral.

Narendra Modi had reportedly said in an interview to a daily that Nehru had skipped Sardar Patel's funeral, leading Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh to tweet a video of the funeral in which Nehru is clearly seen. Modi had later denied saying so. The newspaper has also denied that Modi had said such a thing in the interview.

However, BJP raked up the issue again today when questions were posed by the media.

"The issue here is of the relationship between Nehru and Sardar Patel. It was only in 1991 that Sardar Patel was given a Bharat Ratna by the Narasimha Rao government. Why was he overlooked by the governments of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi over the years" Prasad said.

BJP also defended Modi against Bihar Chief Minister's attack on him that he had got his facts about history wrong during his speech at the Patna rally on October 27.

"One should look at the present not at the past. Taxila was in India at that time and there was a lot of interaction between Taxila and Nalanda. Pakistan had not been formed thousands of years ago," Prasad said.

He rued that Nitish Kumar has problems even with Narendra Modi wiping the sweat off his face and drinking water during his speech.