Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Statue of Unity of Sardar Patel in Gujarat earlier this week. The unveiling of the statue led to a full-blown war on social media between the head of Congress social media, Divya Spandana and the BJP.
The Congress leaders were quick to remind Modi and his party that the man they used to extract electoral mileage was essentially a Congress leader and had even acted against the RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor.
But Shankersinh Vaghela, a former BJP chief minister of Gujarat, has revealed that the saffron party had once opposed renaming of Ahmedabad airport after Sardar Patel. Vaghela said that one should not have any impression that the BJP loved Sardar Patel.
“One shouldn’t have the impression that these people love Sardar… This is just using his name to market themselves. They make a hue and cry of injustice meted out to the Iron Man. When I met Maniben, Sardar Patel’s daughter, she said there was never any injustice to Sardar. He didn’t even have the aspirations to be the PM. Which injustice are you talking about?” Vaghela said.
He also recalled when he was the chief minister of Gujarat and during an event on the naming of the Ahmedabad airport as the Sardar Patel International Airport, BJP members members opposed the naming in front of then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
He also rubbished Modi’s claims that Patel faced humiliation within his own Congress party. “I challenge these people to show me one instance of injustice to the great man,” he said.
He added, “I see the unveiling of the Statue of Unity as a desperate attempt by the BJP to gain political mileage and nothing else. They are losing public support. Not a single work was done by this government in four-and-half years for the common man.”
Taunting Modi and his-led central government, Vaghela said that the BJP should unite the CBI before talking about Patel’s legacy of unifying India. He said, ‘Which unity are you talking about? First unite the CBI, the RBI. Unite for saving the downfall of Indian rupee, unite for bringing down fuel prices.”