Commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma declined Narendra Modi's invite to the event saying that the Modi government was misusing Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's name. "Modi is misinterpreting facts and distorting history," he said.
Earlier I&B Minister Manish Tewari alleged that the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi were trying to hijack Sardar Patel's legacy.
Tewari said that Patel was opposed to the RSS and asked whether BJP agreed with his views or not? "RSS and BJP have been attempting to appropriate the legacy of Sardar Patel," he said. "I wanted to ask the BJP that do they endorse or agree with the views of Sardar Patel about the RSS."
Tewari: Does the BJP agree with Patel's view on RSS
AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh too took on the BJP on micro-blogging site Twitter, where he wrote 'BJP and RSS have been trying to appropriate Gandhiji and Patel as they have no leader who they can claim in the Freedom Movement. Sad!'
Even Tewari tweeted on Tuesday morning saying 'Patel refers to Communal poison spread by RSS that Golwalkar headed. Does Swayamsevak Modi agree with Patel on RSS? Whose Legacy they crave.'
The BJP has often alleged that Congress has forgotten Patel's legacy and has only promoted the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote"><p>BJP and RSS have been trying to appropriate Gandhiji and Patel as they have no leader who they can claim to be in the Freedom Movement.Sad !</p>— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) <a href="https://twitter.com/digvijaya_28/statuses/395004435979448320">October 29, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>