Sardar patel
PM Modi pays tribute at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in New DelhiANI Twitter

Without naming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 1948 order banning the organisation should be placed at the foot of his gigantic 'Statue of Unity', which will be inaugurated soon in Gujarat's Narmada district.

Speaking to media in Maharashtra's Pune, he noted that the move would tell people what the first home minister of the country thought of "them" (RSS).

"They (RSS-BJP) do not have heroes of their own, so they are making the Statue of Unity of Sardar Patel and that too, has been made in China," the Congress leader said.

"There is a written order by Patel in 1948 about banning, following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi...the same order should be placed at the base of the statue, so that the country will get to know Patel's thoughts about them," he added.

Though the senior Congress leader did not name the RSS, he apparently referred to the ban on the organisation following Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, which was later lifted.

Anand Sharma also accused the BJP of conducting a massive "cover-up operation" in the Rafale deal.

"There is a massive cover-up operation going on to hide the Rafale scam and that is why we are appealing the Supreme Court to put a seal (place in a sealed cover) on all the files and notings related to the deal," he said.

The former union minister also questioned the decision to make National Security Advisor Ajit Doval head of the newly formed Strategic Policy Group instead of the cabinet secretary.

"With this decision, the cabinet secretary, three services chiefs, the defence secretary, the foreign secretary, revenue secretary, finance secretary and chiefs of IB and RAW have come under the NSA, which is a political appointment," he said.

During Doval's tenure, "even a country like the Maldives has gone out of India's influence" and "everyone knows about his achievements regarding Pakistan," Anand Sharma said.

"It is a wrong decision and in the larger interest of the country, the security, defence, governance, administration, the cabinet secretary, three services chiefs, chiefs of IB and RAW cannot be subordinated to a political appointee," the Congress leader said.

On the #MeToo movement and allegations of sexual harassment by some women journalists against Union minister MJ Akbar, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claims to be concerned about women's safety, should have reassured the country on the issue.

"His (PM Modi's) silence is unacceptable," Anand Sharma added.