BJP humiliated founders, ignored Dalit chief’s funeral: Congress

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing the saffron party of allegedly humiliating the founders of the party and ignoring its first and only Dalit president Bangaru Laxman’s funeral.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Patel said, “Is it true that when BJP’s first & only Dalit President, Bangaru Laxman ji’s funeral was held in Telangana, except Advani ji no one from present BJP leadership bothered to attend?”

“The way BJP founders L K Advani ji & Murli Manohar Joshi ji have been humiliated by the BJP leadership, no founder of any political party in India has been treated in such a manner,” the Congress treasurer said in a separate tweet.

Patel’s remarks come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund, accused the Congress of “throwing” Sitaram Kesri “out of office” when he was the party’s president from 1996 to 1998 because of his “Dalit” background.

However, several Congress leaders chose to hit back at the Prime Minister since he made the claim. They also clarified that Kesri was not a Dalit and belonged to the Vaishya community.

“PM is again wrong as Kesari ji was not a Dalit, he belonged to ‘Vaishya’ community. Kesri ji himself offered to resign from post of Congress president if Sonia ji was ready to take over. At that time I was Sitaram Kesri’s political advisor. So I’m aware of it,” tweeted Tariq Anwar, a Congress leader.

Congress leader Manish Tiwari also took to Twitter to accuse the Prime Minister of ignoring top BJP leaders. “You are so concerned about Kesri look at what PM has done to LK Advani, Yashwant Sinha, MM Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Arun Shourie & the list is endless. However, the only reason history is being dredged out is because @narendramodi is scared of going to the people on his own track record,” Tiwari tweeted.