Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the state will celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary next year by educating the new generation about him at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his supporters are using his name just for the "sake of votes".
Mr Gehlot alleged that the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS never acknowledged the work done by Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and other leaders during the freedom struggle.
"Now we need to expose them and the new generation should be made aware that Sardar Patel whose name is taken again and again by Modi, decided to ban RSS after Mahatma Gandhi's assassination," he said.
"Earlier, Modi and his team never acknowledged Mahatma Gandhi. They never had any relation or any connection with Gandhi or Patel. During independence struggle, there were senior leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Maulana Azaad, Sardar Patel among others. However, RSS or BJP never acknowledged them. Now, using their names, they are trying to mislead the nation. Hence we need to expose them," he added.
Mr Gehlot was speaking at a meeting called to discuss the 150th anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi in the state.
"Our government has decided to celebrate the 150th anniversary throughout the coming year," he said.
"We want the new generation to know about the real character of Mahatma Gandhi. We want the youth of the country to be aware of Gandhi's personality and his persona.
"Today, at a time when democracy is in danger, when there is terror and fear ruling the nation, no one is happy, economy is collapsing, jobs are dwindling in numbers, it is clear that the coming days shall be tough. In such challenging times, the policies and principles of Mahatma Gandhi can establish peace and harmony in the nation," he said.