India needs Sardar Patel's model of secularism: Modi

Kevadia (Gujarat), Oct 31 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for saying that India's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was truly secular.

Modi, however, taunted the Prime Minister for calling Sardar Patel a Congressman.

"I met the PM. He said something very rightly, I am proud of it. I respect the PM for saying that Sardar Patel was a truly secular. We need the Patel kind of secularism and not vote bank politics," Modi said.

"We built Mahatma's temple and memorial. Nobody challenged us that Modi you are from BJP why are you building Gandhi who was from Congress. But now they point out why is Modi honouring Patel who is from Congress," he added.

Modi said the country is bigger than a political party for them.

"We respect Sardar Patel for his achievements, even though he was not from BJP," he added.

Modi also criticized the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging the Central Government was not allowing the completion of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

"I want to tell the PM that Rajasthan and Gujarat wants water, Madhya Pradesh wants electricity. I don't want credit, please do this for our farmers, give permission to finish the dam," he said.

The BJP's prime ministerial candidate said Sardar Sarovar Dam was Patel's dream.

"The world will be made to look at India when this statue will stand tall," he said.

Modi said India is still burdened with slavery.

"We are still burdened with slavery, we will have to struggle and stand strong against the rest of the world. We are still following British traditions," he said. "We need to position India globally," he added.

Modi said this statue will be a symbol of India's rise.

"I want people from all over the world to see this statue, to see India's rise. We have to integrate people of India. We have to integrate all powers," said Modi.

"Our unity is our guarantee for a bright future," he added.

This statue, which is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 2,074 crore, will be twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in the United States.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani, who represents Gujarat in the Lok Sabha, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The statue is to be built on an island called Sadhu Bet on the river Narmada in Gujarat, the home state of both Sardar Patel and Modi.

The inauguration has been preceded by a war of words between the BJP and Congress over Sardar Patel's legacy.

--ANI (Posted on 31-10-2013)

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