Political sparring over Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel peaked with its inauguration today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi targetted each other over events spread across 50 years. The world's tallest statue, built at a cost of nearly 3000 crores, had drawn much criticism and as PM Modi today decimated critics, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP's ideological mentor, called for cessation of what it called "politics" over the statue.
In the afternoon, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi weighed in, arguing that Sardar Patel — whom the BJP considers its icon — was a Congressman with "no tolerance for bigotry or communalism".
Sardar Patel was a patriot, who fought for a independent, united & secular India. A man with a steely will, tempered by compassion, he was a Congressman to the core, who had no tolerance for bigotry or communalism. On his birth anniversary, I salute this great son of India.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 31, 2018
A second tweet put the government in the dock.
"Ironic that a statue of Sardar Patel is being inaugurated, but every institution he helped build is being smashed. The systematic destruction of India's institutions is nothing short of treason," the tweet read.
The Congress has renewed its accusation of the government destroying institutions since the massive battle within two top officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation became public.