NEW DELHI: Asserting that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a Congress stalwart who was strongly opposed to the RSS, party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday claimed that the BJP's attempts to appropriate his legacy shows that it does not have a great freedom fighter of its own.
Her attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came on a day the government organised a series of events across the country to mark the birth anniversary of Patel, the first home minister of the country.
"Sardar Patel was a stalwart of the Congress who was devoted to the ideology of the party," Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
He was a close companion of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the country, and was strongly opposed to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Congress general secretary said.
The RSS is considered an ideological mentor of the BJP.
"Today, seeing the BJP trying to appropriate him and pay tributes to him gives a lot of happiness, because two things are clear from this action of the BJP:
1.It has no great freedom fighter of its own. Almost all of them were associated with the Congress.
2. Even enemies have to bow before great men like Sardar Patel one day," she added.
Congress leader and former party chief Rahul Gandhi also paid tribute to 'Iron Man' Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary, saying "we are all indebted to you for your service to the country".
Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also paid rich tributes to Sardar Patel.