In a veiled attack on the Congress party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused past governments of ignoring the contributions of Sardar Vallabhbhai. Flagging off ‘Run for Unity’ this morning, he lauded Patel saying due to his statesmanship and political acumen, India is united today.
“There have been attempts to run down Patel, to ensure that the contribution of Patel is forgotten. But Sardar is Sardar, whether any government or any party recognises his contribution or not but the nation and the youth will not forget him,” he said without naming any government or party.
“The youth of India respects him and his contribution towards the building of our nation,” the prime minister added.
Modi’s comment bears significance as it came ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat, the state Patel belonged to.
Paying rich tribute to Patel, Modi said he had not only saved the country from the difficulties being faced immediately after Independence, but succeeded in uniting the whole nation.
“The British government wished that India was disintegrated into smaller states. But Patel used all means (Sam, dam, dand, bhed, rajneeti, kutneeti) and succeeded in uniting all princely states into a single nation within a very small span of time,” he said.
Stressing that the diversity is India’s strength, Modi said there are many languages, religion, culture, customs, lifestyles and food habits. “But these are our strength and these are our bright future.India is proud of our diversity,” he said.
During the occasion, Modi also spoke of India’s first President of India Rajendra Prasad highlighting his administrative acumen.
“Rajendra Babu must be happy now, wherever is his soul, that we are remembering the contribution of Patel even though some people tried to run down and erase his contribution.The nation will continue to remember Patel,” he said.
Modi also paid tribute to former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.