The BJP Monday accused Congress leader P Chidambaram of “mocking” the “Ram temple initiative” and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue, saying the former Union minister’s comments were “highly irresponsible and very provocative”. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was a case of “classic hypocrisy” that while Congress president Rahul Gandhi visits temples and portrays himself as a ‘Shiv Bhakt’, a senior leader of his party was making such comments.
Prasad’s attack on the Congress came after Chidambaram tweeted targeting the Modi government. “At the beginning of five years, the promise is for Development, Jobs and Money in every citizen’s bank account. Nothing achieved, at the end of five years, the new promise is for grand Temples, giant Statues and Doles,” the Congress leader had tweeted.
Prasad said Chidambaram is obviously mocking the Ram temple initiative and the Patel’s Statue of Liberty, the tallest in the world. “Please stop it. Don’t play with sentiments,” he said, asking Gandhi to make his stand clear on the issue and demanding that he and his mother Sonia Gandhi express regret.
There cannot be a bigger insult to Patel, he said, asking why the Congress reacted in such a manner to his one statue when hundreds of schemes, awards, scholarships among other recognitions are named after Nehru-Gandhi family. The Congress worked to erase Patel’s legacy and the BJP is proud that the biggest statue in his memory was built under the Modi government, Prasad said. He also objected to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge drawing a parallel between Modi and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, and said it was due to the party’s frustration and its impending defeat in the coming elections.
Polls in five states are scheduled for this month and December, and will be followed by the Lok Sabha elections. Taking a dig at Kharge, Prasad said he cannot take one step without permission of his party’s ruling family while the BJP is run on democratic principles.