Manish Tewari trashes Modi's accusations on Sardar Patel issue

New Delhi: As Congress and BJP battle it out over the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Union Minister Manish Tewari today trashed Narendra Modi's charge, saying UPA's record in issuing advertisements to commemorate the birth anniversary of the country's first Home Minister is far better than that of NDA.

Citing official data, Tewari, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, said the BJP-led NDA which had ruled from 1999 to 2004 at the Centre had not brought out Patel's advertisements in at least three years - 1999, 2000 and 2001.

 Manish Tewari trashes Modis accusations on Sardar Patel issue

Manish Tewari. PTI imagee

The amount committed on advertisements on Patel during the NDA regime in 1998, 2002 and 2003 was just over Rs 68 lakhs, according to the data. In comparison, from 2004 when UPA had assumed power, over Rs 11.6 crores had been committed for Patel's advertisements by the I&B ministry, it said.

Tewari said that UPA had during its tenure from 2004 to 2013, barring 2008, brought out ads commemorating Patel every year.

"Yesterday, the Gujarat CM had made a statement in which he had wrongly alleged, because for a long time the BJP and its new leading light have been trying to appropriate the legacy of Patel, that the UPA government brought ads commemorating Sardar Patel only after he created pressure,"
Tewari said in Ludhiana.

The I&B ministry also issued a statement saying that it had been releasing advertisements on the birth anniversary of prominent national leaders. "Between 1998-2003, 2164 newspapers were given advertisements on this occasion. No advertisements were released during the years 1999, 2000 and 2001. However, between 2004-2013, 20,915 newspapers were given the advertisements. No advertisement was given in the year 2008," it said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 01, 2013 20:09:35 IST