The BJP attacked the Congress today over alleged discussions during its Working Committee meeting held over the weekend, and claimed that a leader from Kashmir had vilified Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, one of the icons of the party. Highlighting reports by a section of the media on the discussions at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee – the party's highest decision-making body -- BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said it was claimed that Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was in league with Muhammad Ali Jinnah to keep Jammu and Kashmir out of India.
"It was published in the news today… At the CWC meeting, Tariq Hameed Karra spoke of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. It (his remarks), are objectionable," Mr Patra said.
Tariq Hameed Karra, he said, had apparently claimed that Sardar Patel had met with the Pakistan founder.
"He said Sardar Patel wanted to separate Jammu and Kashmir from India, while Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to keep Jammu and Kashmir in India. The manner in which Sardar Patel was being spoken about at this meeting -- did Sonia Gandhi say anything on this? Patel was vilified because of the Congress leader's sycophancy towards the Gandhi family," Mr Patra told reporters.
"Was Karra reprimanded? Will he be axed from the CWC?" Mr Patra questioned, referring to the permanent invitee. "What sort of mindset is this that one family has done everything and others have done nothing? What the CWC has done is a sin," he said.
Mr Karra was attending the Congress Working Committee meet held on Saturday and some media reports indicated that he had made disparaging remarks about Sardar Patel.
The Congress has hotly denied that any such discussion took place.
Tweeting a clip of the news story, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala posted: "Seems spreading canards and lies, on behalf of Modi Govt, has become the norm for some newspapers. Never question the BJP Govt, Spread lies about Opposition, Give cover fire to Modi Govt to justify lies driven Press Conferences….Is the new standard of journalism".
Seems spreading canards and lies, on behalf of Modi Govt, has become the norm for some newspapers.— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 18, 2021
Never question the BJP Govt,
Spread lies about Opposition,
Give cover fire to Modi Govt to justify lies driven Press Conferences….
Is the new standard of journalism. pic.twitter.com/MxPAonzgH1
Mr Karra – a former minister of Jammu and Kashmir -- said his remarks have been "misrepresented".
"I don't know what quarters want to misrepresent it. I read in a leading newspaper today where they had misrepresented facts. It has to be seen who said these things outside, it's serious," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"I had said that Pandit Nehru had asserted that Jammu and Kashmir be made a part of India, he didn't want it to be called a theocratic State like Pakistan. I said that Sardar Patel had said that even if J&K goes towards Pakistan, negotiations can be held regarding Junagadh and Hyderabad (two erstwhile princely states)," he added.
"But Jawaharlal Nehru didn't agree and said that, 'No, we don't want that India be labelled as a theocratic state as Pakistan has been labelled'. I said this when we took up discussions over negotiations at that time when a plan of 'two nation theory' had come," ANI quoted Mr Karra as saying.
Mr Karra had showed his support for the Gandhis in a series of tweets on Friday, one of which read, "In my considered & unflinching opinion, in today's Congress Party, Gandhis are the true flag bearers of Congress ideals and Gandhian Philosophy. The only cementing force within. For me, like millions of others, "Congress is Gandhis and Gandhis are Congress".
"The pivot,thus a rallying force. They inspire, thus can mobilize. They don't compromise & surrender on Indianism and it's ideals, thus invincible. Sh.Rahul Gandhi must come forward to lead and steer @INCIndia so that the flame of Indianism and the ray of hope doesn't dwindle," read another tweet.