A statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel reportedly went missing from the storeroom of Jalandhar Municipal Corporation, prompting a war of words between leaders of Congress and BJP.
Taking a dig at the BJP leadership over the missing statue, senior Congress leader Virendra Sharma said, "While BJP's senior leadership is trying to "hijack" Sardar Patel's legacy, the regional leaders are insulting him."
The matter came to light after the Congress demanded that the Patel's statute, which was procured around 60 years ago, be installed at Patel Chowk here, amid renewed political war over the country's first home minister's legacy.
When the BJP-SAD controlled corporation authorities searched for the bronze statue, it was found missing.
"The mayor should explain how did the statue disappear," Sharma said.
Jalandhar mayor Sunil Jyoti said, "I have instructed the store manager to look into the matter."
Responding to the Congress' allegations, senior BJP leader Rajat Kumar Mohindru said, "Congress leaders remembered to restore the legacy of Patel when Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Patel's statue on October 31. The statue has been lying in the storeroom since 1973, then why wasn't it installed earlier?"
The statue was installed at the railway station in 1950 after Patel's death. But on railways' opposition it was reinstalled in the DC office of Municipal Corporation. When they faced difficulties there too, the statue was removed and has been kept in the storeroom since then.