New Delhi: The fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) take the name of Mahatama Gandhi today years after failing to recognise his significance is a victory for the Congress, said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday.

Addressing a special convention of the state Congress committee in Jaipur on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti, Gehlot took a dig at the BJP and RSS and said, “What was their thinking 75 years back? Did they ever take names of Gandhi, Patel or Ambedkar? I believe it’s a victory for the thinking of Gandhi and Congress that RSS-BJP today have to take names of our leaders.”

“It’s a victory of our policies, programs and beliefs,” he added, acclaiming the Congress for “maintaining” democracy for 70 years which has been lost in an atmosphere of violence since 2014.

Gehlot also said that it is not enough to merely talk about the deeds of these bygone leaders. “I would like to tell these people that mere speaking about him will not work. They should clarify what is in their heart and mind,” he said.

“If they feel they committed a mistake that they didn’t identify Gandhi before independence, acted as informants of Britishers and entrapped freedom fighters, did not participate in the freedom struggle, then they must apologise to the country before taking Gandhi’s name,” he added.

The BJP and Congress in Rajasthan have been fighting over Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th anniversary, trying to appropriate his legacy and rationalise which ideology he sided with. Gehlot had earlier bashed the BJP saying that it would be better if the party followed Gandhi’s footsteps as well, rather than just remembering him.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to announce an ‘open-defecation free’ and ‘single-use plastic free’ India today, on October 2, to honour Mahatma Gandhi and uphold his ideal of cleanliness.