Patel can't be restricted to a party: Modi

Patel can't be restricted to a party: Modi

After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh remarked that he was “proud to be part of the political party with which Sardar Patel had been associated”, Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi continued with the battle for the Iron man’s legacy saying those confining Patel to a particular party were demeaning him.

Modi’s onslaught came during the foundation laying ceremony of the 182 feet Statue of Unity, the monument for Sardar Patel, to be constructed few kilometres away from the Sardar Sarovar dam.

Accompanied by L K Advani, who initially objected to Modi’s elevation as his party’s prime ministerial candidate, Modi had turned the occasion into a grand political function as he addressed the farmers and tribals before the foundation laying ceremony. After having said that the image and the state of India would have been different had Sardar been the first prime minister of the country, just two days ago, he warned his opponents and critics that Sardar stood for secularism and unity and that was the need of the hour in this country. Addressing the rally, Modi said for following the ideologies of the likes of Sardar one does not need to restrict him to a party.

“Yes he did belong to a party and history will hold that fact but the principles for which Sardar stood cannot be restricted or limited,” he said.

Modi said icons and leaders like the Maharana Pratap, Chatrapati Shivaji or Bhagat Singh were idealised by every person and their ideologies cannot be either compartmentalised or restricted to parties.

Attacking the Centre and its policies, Modi called it the Gujarat effect which prompted the Centre to release advertisements in the National media on 138th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on Thursday. 

He urged the Central government to take quick steps to complete the Narmada canal project which was necessary for water supply in Gujarat and power supply to Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. 

“We have reminded the prime minister for the last three years but erecting of the gates is not being requisitioned though everyone realises it,” he said, adding that the delay was primarily due to corruption. With his mentor and senior leader L K Advani by his side, Modi said that it was with the blessings and the guidance of his senior that he could carry out the projects including the Statue of Unity. Meanwhile, activists under the banner “Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti” who have been protesting against the government’s decision of going ahead with the statue were detained by the police and were not allowed to reach near the programme site to voice their concerns.

Touted to be the tallest statue in the world, the Statue of Unity will be double the size of the Statue of Liberty. It will be built at the Sadhu-Bet island approximately 3.5 kms south of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia, in Narmada district.

The height is said to be 182 metres. The total cost of the statue is projected to be Rs 2063 crore and is expected to be completed after a span of four years.

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