New Delhi, Oct 29 IBNS | 2 years ago

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday clarified that a newspaper had misquoted him about India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru not attending the funeral of iconic Indian leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The paper quoted Modi as saying that Nehru did not attend Patel's funeral.

Patel was India's first Home Minister.

"Divya Bhaskar has clarified on a statement about Sardar Patel's funeral wrongly attributed to me. I thank them for it," Modi tweeted on Tuesday.

However, the issue had triggered a controversy as Congress leaders slammed Modi over the alleged remarks.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh had posted a video showing Nehru attending Patel's funeral.

"Link for Modi's lie about Nehruji not attending Sardar Patel funeral -Exposed.What a great LIER is this Modi!" Singh had earlier tweeted with the video.

Attacking the BJP, Singh on Tuesday tweeted: "I compliment Modi for building Sardar Patel's statue at Sardar Sarovar. LOH PURUSH who banned RSS ( Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) for inciting communal violence. 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 !"

Slamming the Gujarat Chief Minister, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari tweeted: "9/11/1948 Patel to Golwalkar As a final result of (communal) poison, country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. Patel refers to Communal poison spread by RSS that Golwalkar headed. Does Syamsevak Modi agree with Patel on RSS? Whose Legacy they crave!"

Meanwhile, Modi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday shared the stage at the inauguration of a museum in Ahmedabad city dedicated to Patel.

Modi said that he and many others will always regret that Patel did not get a chance to become the first prime minister of India.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has written a letter and turned down the Gujarat chief minister's invite to attend another event in Gujarat on Thursday, where the foundation will be laid for a massive statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Sharma, in a caustic letter, accused Modi, of "misusing the name of Sardar for political propaganda."

"It is rather odd that you have attempted to brazenly usurp the rich legacy of Sardar Patel whose approach and beliefs militate against all that is personified by the RSS, whose nominee you are," Sharma said in his letter.

(Posted on 29-10-2013)