Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], November 28 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday yet again prodded the Congress on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel being "sidelined" in the party cadres, and asked the grand old party why it did not bother to honour him with the Bharat Ratna for 41 years.
"The Congress now at this crucial juncture remembers that Sardar Patel was also a Congress leader which feels good to hear after so long. We never claimed Sardar Patel as ours; he has always been associated with the Congress. The question is the way this party behaved with him and the way he was treated. Sardar Patel died in 1950 and he received the Bharat Ratna in 1991, which is a huge insult. Nehru ji, Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Rajiv Gandhi and Zakir Hussain received the award which is completely acceptable as they deserved it. But why wasn't Sardar Patel given the award for 41 years?" Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, in a press briefing.
He added, "There were 555 provinces in India of which 554 were handled by Patel and one was under Jawaharlal Nehru which was Kashmir and we can still witness its condition."
"Did he not deserve the award? This question is relevant as these days the Congress is so concerned about the Patidar community," he further said.
The fight over Sardar Patel's legacy escalated on October 31, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress for having tried to "run down and erase" the former's contributions to the unification of the country after Independence. (ANI)