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'BJP, RSS would be non-existent if Patel was first PM'

October 30, 2013 16:15 IST

Taking a dig at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said if the 'Iron

Man' had become the nation's first prime minister then both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh would have been non-existent.

"There is no doubt in my mind that the BJP and RSS would not have been there if Patel had become the prime minister in place of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru," Singh told reporters at the Raja Bhoj airport in Bhopal after Modi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took potshots at each other's parties in Ahmedabad over the legacy of Patel, the country's first home minister.

"Modi must keep in mind that it was he (Patel) who had banned the RSS for inciting communal violence," he said.

On Tuesday, the function to mark the inauguration of the renovated Sardar Patel Museum in Ahmedabad virtually turned into a verbal duel between the PM and BJP's prime ministerial contender, when Modi said that India's "fate and face" would have been different had Patel been its first prime minister.

"The country will always have one complaint, every Indian will always regret and feel the pain...had Sardar Saheb been our first prime minister, the country's fate would have been different, the country's face would have been different," Modi said.

Digvijay also dismissed all those surveys, which were predicting a BJP win in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections next month. "All of it should be torn off and put into a waste-paper basket," he said.

Image: Jawaharlal Nehru with Sardar Vallabhai Patel

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