Giving a political colour to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary, ruling BJP leaders in MP on Saturday drew comparison between the first home minister and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
They said had the Kashmir issue been handled by Patel and not Jawaharlal Nehru, it would have been solved during their time itself, and that Patel’s contribution in laying the foundation of modern India was no less than Nehru.
Yet, they said, Patel was never given the recognition he deserved.
They noted that the situation has changed after Narendra Modi’s ascension to power.
Party vice-president in-charge of party affairs for Madhya Pradesh Dr Vinay Sahastabuddhe and party state president Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan were the main speakers at the function held in Bhopal, while it was chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who addressed the function organised by the Kurmi community to commemorate the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
“Sardar Patel’s persona was no less than Pandit Nehru. He was the person who raised the issue of Nehru’s communistic leanings with Mahatma Gandhi and asked Nehru to adhere to Congress’ principles,” said Sahastabuddhe at a seminar organised at the BJP state headquarters here.
State BJP chief Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan said, “Sardar Patel merged 565 princely states into the Indian republic and places where the nawabs opposed, they were made to fall in line by force. His contribution in laying the foundation of a strong India was no less than Pt Nehru. In fact, if he were given the task to unify Kashmir with India, he would have done it then itself, without leaving any scope of dispute unlike Pt Nehru, who mishandled the entire issue. Yet, a great leader like Patel didn’t get the prominence he deserved,” Chauhan said.
Speaking at Sagar on the occasion, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “What Sardar Patel did to bring India together was historic. He always spoke for the common man and the farmers but unfortunately, he didn’t get the prominence in the political arena, which he truly deserved.”
A “unity run” was also organised at several places across the state to mark the occasion.