Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man of India, found himself at the centre of a raging controversy on Thursday after Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced his dream project of erecting the world's tallest statue, of Patel, and the Congress took strong objection to it terming it to be a violation of the poll code.
Six key municipal corporations of the state are slated to go to polls Oct 10.
Gujarat Congress president, Siddhartha Patel, on Thursday took strong objection to the chief minister announcing the project of erecting the "world's tallest statue" of Sardar Patel overlooking the Narmada dam on the downstream of the dam site in Kevadia Colony.
Chief Minister Modi had on Wednesday announced his dream project of erecting the world's tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the downstream of the Narmada dam.
In a letter to the state election commission, Patel charged him with breach of election code of conduct pointing out that the literature published in connection with the statue project showed Sardar Patel holding in his hands a "lotus flower", the election symbol of the BJP.
He questioned the chief minister's propriety in announcing the project when the model code of conduct was in force and stated that the Sardar's picture with a lotus flower was a deliberate ploy to "misuse" his name for electoral gains. The literature also carried the BJP's symbol seeking to identify it as a party project.
The Congress president contested the announcement and its propriety when elections were in progress. "Why was it made three days before the poll schedule and that too on behalf of the BJP?" he questioned.
The BJP state spokesperson, I.K. Jadeja, however, claimed that Sardar's picture was taken in the folder from the collection of old photographs. "What can the BJP do if Sardar had a liking for a lotus?" he asked.
The BJP spokesman accused the Congress of "suffering from Sardar phobia".