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BJP Slams Congress For 'Vilification' of Patel at CWC Meet; Oppn Party Dismisses Claim

Sonia Gandhi, former chief Rahul Gandhi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attended the CWC meeting. (File photo: PTI)

Sonia Gandhi, former chief Rahul Gandhi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attended the CWC meeting. (File photo: PTI)

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took a swipe at the Congress, claiming that the Gandhi family cannot even unite the party, let alone uniting India.

The BJP on Monday accused the Congress of committing a “sin" over reports that a leader at the recent CWC meeting made critical remarks about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and asked if the party leadership will take action against him. As BJP leaders attacked the Congress, the opposition party dismissed the reports with its chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala alleging that “spreading lies and canards" has become a norm for some.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra cited reports that Tariq Hameed Karra, a Kashmiri leader and a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, had credited Jawaharlal Nehru for Jammu and Kashmir’s integration with India and had alleged that Patel wanted to keep the Valley out. Karra also linked Patel with Pakistan’s founder M A Jinnah, the BJP spokesperson said citing reports.

Patra asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi objected when Karra “vilified" Patel and presented India’s first home minister as a “villain" while praising Nehru. Slamming the reports, Surjewala claimed that they are aimed at giving cover fire to the Modi government to “justify lies-driven press conferences" while the BJP dispensation is “never" questioned.

Seizing on the issue, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took a swipe at the Congress, claiming that the Gandhi family cannot even unite the party, let alone uniting India.

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“Pity that CWC meetings are reduced to pleasing One Family’ even if it is at the expense of insulting & maligning the stalwarts of the country… The Congress, with a leadership crisis, will always find itself on the fringes," he tweeted.

“‘The Family may enjoy these imaginary garlands of blandishment by Congress slaves, but India will not tolerate the insult of its greats, including the revered Sardar Patel," he added. The Congress, Patra alleged, is reduced to being a party of a family and works to advance the family’s rule.

“What sort of mindset is this that one family has done everything and others have done nothing. What the CWC has done is a sin," he said. He noted that Karra also batted for Rahul Gandhi to take over as the Congress chief while lauding the contribution of the Nehru-Gandhi family and criticising Patel.

“This is the height of sycophancy," he said.

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first published:October 18, 2021, 20:08 IST