The BJP hit back at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra saying the Congress only remembered leaders who "belonged" to the Nehru-Gandhi family after she accused the saffron party of appropriating Sardar Patel.
The BJP said on Thursday that it respected everyone who fought for India's freedom, unlike the Congress.
Taking a swipe at the Congress leader, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain wondered if her comments were motivated by "jealousy" as her party never organised any notable event to commemorate the birth anniversary Patel, India's first Deputy Prime Minister.
The Congress general secretary had earlier said she felt happy seeing the BJP's attempts to appropriate Patel, a Congress leader, as it showed that the saffron party did not have a great freedom fighter of its own.
Stalwarts like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardal Patel belonged to a different Congress which has undergone several splits and changed many symbols, Hussain said.
"The stalwarts of this Congress are Sonia Gandhi and P Chidambaram. The Congress during the freedom struggle had everyone in its ranks who wanted to fight for India's independence. It had leaders who were vehemently opposed to Jawaharlal Nehru. Gandhi had said after Independence that the Congress should be dissolved," he told reporters.
"Priyanka Gandhi should know that Patel does not belong to a party but to the country. He is a Bharat Ratna. We respect everyone who fought for India's freedom. We are not selective like the Congress which remembered leaders only from a family and named institutions, places and schemes only after Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi," Hussain added.
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