The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Saturday hit back at Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that Mahatma Gandhi was killed because of its ideology, saying Congress should not give sermons to others as it itself is pursuing a thinking that is opposite to that of the Father of the Nation and Sardar Patel.
The RSS, joined by BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, also targeted Congress for claiming the legacy of Sardar Patel, saying they had forgotten the "national leader" for 60 years but woke up only after BJP highlighted his contribution to the nation.
"Let those people not teach us about Sardar Patel's ideology. It is the present day Congress leadership which has completely decimated the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and are following the ideology which is just opposite to the thinking of these people," RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said.
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, he said the Sangh normally does not react to "kindergarten comments" but the Congress leaders should read history properly.
Though Patel, as home minister, had imposed a ban on RSS after assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948, he had revoked the order within eight months stating that the Sangh had nothing to do with the incident.
At the same time, he had a poser for the Congress. "Are they ready to accept Sardar Patel's ideology as the Congress ideology?"
Targeting Congress, he claimed, "Jawaharlal Nehru, in one Cabinet meeting, had stood up and told Sardar Patel that he was a communalistic person and he cannot work with him. This is the character of Congress".
Modi also attacked Congress, saying it was remembering the country's first Home Minister "only after" the BJP decided to make the "statue of unity" in his memory in Gujarat.
"It is our achievement that for 60 years when you forgot him, we have forced you to remember him," Modi said as he took a jibe at the Congress for "waking up" to install a statue of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji in the Arabian Sea.
"For you, Vallabhbhai Patel may be a political leader, but for us he is a national leader. Congress leaders will never be able to understand our feelings for Patel," he said.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley also lamented that no one in the country had thought of writing a biography on Patel, till the Sardar Patel Trust in 1977 asked Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi to write one after some research, 30 years after independence.
He also appeared to attack the Gandhi family when he said a lot of "planning" is done to build the "glamour and attraction" of a family.
Rahul Gandhi came under attack after he said RSS ideology had led to the killing of Mahatma Gandhi and that Modi has nothing to do with the ideology of the Father of the Nation or Sardar Patel.
"He (Modi) has spent his entire life in RSS and has nothing to do with the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. Its (RSS') ideology killed the Mahatma and Patel proposed to ban it after that," Rahul said.
Image: RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav