'India would have been divided into many parts if Sardar Patel was not there': Advani

Kevadia (Gujarat), Oct 31 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani on Thursday hailed India's first Home Minister's contribution to the nation, saying the country would have been divided into many parts if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was not in the leadership of India during those days.

"If Sardar Patel was not in the leadership of India during those days, India would have been divided into two parts but many parts," he added.

Advani, who was the chief guest at the foundation stone ceremony of Sardar Patel statue in Kevadiya, speaking at the event also remembered the contribution of several other forgotten heroes of the Indian freedom struggle.

"The independence struggle was not just under Gandhiji, Sardar Patel and other Congress leaders but many other freedom fighters," Advani said.

"Chandrashekhar and Bhagat Singh were also a part of the freedom struggle. Everyone was honest and devoted towards the freedom struggle, only their ways were different," he added.

Advani also congratulated Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the Sardar Patel statue and his prime ministerial candidature.

"People go to the US to see the Statue of Liberty, but if they get to know that Modi in Gujarat has constructed a 'Statue of Unity', how proud we will be to see such a tall structure of Patel. I congratulate Modi whom the BJP has declared as PM's nominee, I am very happy and I want to express it here," he said.

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.

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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