(The Hindu): With an eye on the upcoming Gujarat polls the ruling BJP and Congress invoked Patel’s legacy on the India’s first Home minister’s birth anniversary.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed “previous governments” for ignoring Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s legacy to unite the country.
“India is a country full of diversity. ‘Unity in Diversity’ is our speciality,” Mr. Modi said while flagging off the ‘Run for Unity’ on the birth anniversary of the first deputy Prime Minister at the Dhyan Chand Stadium here.
Apparently targetting previous governments led by the Congress, Mr. Modi said: “People earlier tried their best to ensure that the contribution of Sardar Patel was forgotten and diminished.”
“But the people and the youth of India respects him and his contribution towards the building of our nation,” the Prime Minister said.
Highlighting the contribution of Patel, Mr. Modi said: “Using his skills, and determination Sardar Patel saved India from the problems that emerged soon after Partition.
Mr. Modi also emphasised that “our country should remain one”. “The country that Patel has given, retaining its unity is the responsibility of all Indians.”
We salute Sardar Patel on his Jayanti. His momentous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/t9TFeii3IP
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 31, 2017
“Therefore, all generations should know how he maintained that unity. We are celebrating his birth anniversary as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’,” Mr. Modi said.
Referring to the nation’s first President Rajendra Prasad, Mr. Modi said: “Today his soul will be happy to know that Sardar Patel has not been forgotten.”
(The New Indian Express)Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 147th birth anniversary.
An embodiment of integrity & strength, Sardar Patel was one of the architects of Idea of India. My tributes to him on his birth anniversary. pic.twitter.com/RgoGklx9kA
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 31, 2017
Remembering the freedom fighter, he tweeted: “An embodiment of integrity & strength, Sardar Patel was one of the architects of Idea of India. My tributes to him on his birth anniversary.”
The Congress leader, who recently hit the campaign trail in Gujarat for the upcoming assembly elections, had visited the birth place of Sardar Patel in Kheda. During his Gujarat visits, Gandhi also said that Made in China’ will be written on the statue of Sardar Patel (to be installed at Narmada dam), which, he said, is a matter of shame.