Advani had referred to extracts of a book - "The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will" by MKK Nair, an IAS officer of 1947 batch who served in the Union of India and was believed to be close to Sardar Patel.

The book refers to "sharp exchanges" between Nehru and Patel in a Cabinet meeting before "police action" against Hyderabad.

Raising doubts over the content, Information and Broadcasting Minister Tewari commented on Twitter: "IAS Founded 1946 If another Mr Nair joined IAS in 1947 post Army stint Would he be privy to Cabinet discussions at his level in-48 Advaniji ?”

Referring to a website that gave information of about eminent personalities from the Nair community, Tewari said that one MKK Nair, who served as an IAS officer had joined the IAS in 1950 while the Hyderabad Police action took place in 1948.

"A MKK Nair born 29-12-1930 Joined IAS 1950. Hyderabad Police Action Sept 1948. If same Mr Nair facts do not add up?" Tewari tweeted.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed also slammed Advani's remarks without naming him.

"Highly deplorable! Few leaders for their vested interest are trying to prove that Sardar Patel was not secular but a communal like them," he tweeted.

BJP has of late been trying to appropriate Sardar Patel as a leader close to the Hindutva ideology.

On Patel's 138th anniversary on October 31, Advani had heaped praise on India's first Home Minister at the inauguration of a project to build a 182 metre tall statue- the tallest in the world- of the leader.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is behind this endeavour, said India needs Patel's secularism which united people and not the "votebank secularism" that is being practiced today. Both Advani and Modi have sought to fashion themselves as inheritors of Patel's legacy.


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