Jaipur, Oct 22 : The Congress on Monday slammed the BJP for trying to appropriate the Freedom Movement icons, ridiculing the saffron party for remembering stalwarts such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, B.R. Ambedkar and Subhash Chandra Bose 70 years after India's Independence.
"This situation is more like 'Virasat hamari, kabza yeh kar rahe hain' (This is our legacy which is now being appropriated by them)," said Congress General Secretary and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at a press conference here.
The contribution of leaders such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Ambedkar and Sardar Patel has been obliterated from the mainstream Indian discourse to magnify the presence of one family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday while commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Azad Hind government formed by Netaji.
Modi on Sunday unfurled the National Flag at the Red Fort and targeted the Nehru-Gandhi family for "neglecting" the contribution of nationalist leaders such as Bose.
Modi's comments drew a sharp reaction from the Congress.
"Modi knows that the Sangh Parivar is bereft of any locus and had absolutely no role to play in the Freedom Movement. So, like a fish out of water, they are desperately trying to appropriate Netaji's legacy and dragging him into politics," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said on Sunday.
Gehlot targeted the RSS for trying to polarise the electorate in Rajasthan just ahead of next month's Assembly election. The RSS chief, during his annual Dussehra speech, called for a law to facilitate the construction of a grand Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.
Gehlot expressed concern that violence was spreading its tentacles, and communal harmony was under threat.
He also attacked the state government led by the BJP's Vasundhara Raje for its alleged failure to check the spread of several diseases triggered by viruses, including Zika that has taken Jaipur in its grip.