Kevadia (Narmada): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today hit back at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying Sardar Patel belonged to the whole nation and not a particular party and that he favoured Patel's secularism and not “votebank secularism” practiced by some parties.
Modi also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue of installing a gate on the Sardar Sarovar Dam which has been pending for a long time. He alleged that Gujarat is being discriminated against by the Centre for political reasons.
Taking on the Prime Minister for his comments on October 29 that he is proud Patel belonged to his party, Modi said, “Rana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru are highly respected. Were they BJP members? Will only those who belong to the BJP be given respect and honour. Country is greater than the party and those who sacrifice themselves for the country are greater.”
He emphasised that nobody, not even him, can deny that Patel belonged to a party but his stature was such that he is respected by all. “We should not divide our legacy,” Modi said.
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, who was speaking at the inauguration of a project to build the tallest statue of Sardar Patel here, also attacked Singh and the Congress on the issue of secularism.