Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel resolved issues of merger of other princely states, but ‘one person’ could not resolve the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, in a veiled attack on India’s first PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Anand district ahead of the state assembly elections due this year-end, Modi said he was able to resolve the long-pending Kashmir issue as he is walking in the footsteps of India’s first home minister Sardar Patel.
Modi also said that ‘Urban Naxals’ had tried to stall Sardar Patel’s dream project of the Sardar Sarovar dam.
‘Urban Naxal’ term is often used by some segments of the political spectrum to describe sympathisers of the Naxalism cause as well as certain social activists.
“Sardar saheb persuaded all the princely states to merge with India. But another person handled this one issue of Kashmir,” Modi said, without naming India’s first prime minister.
“As I am following in the footsteps of Sardar saheb, I have values of the land of Sardar and that was the reason I resolved the problem of Kashmir and paid true tributes to Sardar Patel,” Modi said.
Modi was addressing a public meeting organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party at Vallabh Vidyanagar in Anand district.
Further targeting the previous Congress governments in Gujarat, Modi said while they constructed dams, no canal network was created to carry water.
“Did they make dams for darshan (show)?” the PM asked, adding that he took up the work and completed it in 20 years.
“With water reaching everywhere, Gujarat has seen a growth of nine to ten per cent in agro products,” he said.
Modi also said that ‘Urban Naxals’ tried to stall Sardar Patel’s dream project of the Sardar Sarovar dam. The matter was caught up in litigation.
“They wasted 40-50 years of our time, made us run from pillar to post in courts, wasting money of the poor people of Gujarat. Today, the Sardar Sarovar dam, the dream of Sardar Saheb, is completed,” he said.
Addressing the BJP workers, Modi said if they get to talk to these Congress members, ask them whether they ever visited the world’s tallest Statue of Unity constructed in the honour of Sardar Patel.
“It’s been several decades since Sardar Saheb passed away, now show some generosity and bow before Sardar Saheb’s feet. They would not do so…,” he said.
The PM said even when in opposition, his party BJP resolved to ensure Sardar Patel got his due.
“Today, the people of Gujarat have worked to honour Sardar Saheb, and the BJP is proud of it,” he said.
The Statue of Unity at Ekta Nagar (Kevadia) is the pride of the world, he said.
The PM said not just the Statue of Unity, his government also developed the historic Dandi March route in the honour of Mahatma Gandhi.
“Those doing politics in the name of Gandhiji for so many decades did not get the idea to improve the route of Dandi yatra, and we took up the task. We developed the entire route and created new opportunities for employment. By making a modern highway of more than 400 km, we took on a campaign to introduce Satyagraha to the new generation,” he said.
Modi said in 20 years, the BJP government doubled the electricity production in Gujarat.
“Many villages received electricity after I went to Delhi (became PM). In Gujarat, we did the work of connecting every village and house with electricity,” he said.
The Gujarat BJP has become synonymous with service, security, peace, best environment for trade and business, and freedom from riots.
“This trust (reposed by people) is helping the BJP flag flying in every corner of India,” he said.