No question of renaming, Gujarat deputy CM clarifies on Motera stadium being named after PM Modi
Amid allegations from opposition parties over renaming of Ahmedabad's Motera stadium after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Gujarat government has issued a clarification. Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's name was never associated with the stadium in question.
"This stadium is owned by the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) and it was always known as the Motera Stadium. So there is no question of renaming it now. It was Narendra Modi, who had first floated the idea to demolish the old stadium and build a new one when he was the GCA president," said Nitin Patel, according to a video posted by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
He further said that Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind, is part of a larger complex, named 'Sardar Patel Sports Complex'.
ALSO WATCH | Sardar Patel cricket stadium in Motera renamed Narendra Modi stadium
After some leaders of the Congress and other opposition parties made the accusation, Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad too had said that only Motera Stadium has been named after PM Modi and the complex in which it is located is still called Sardar Patel Sports Enclave.
Taking a dig at Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Prasad, who was addressing the media after attending a cabinet meeting, said that the two leaders had never praised or visited Sardar Patel's statue, the world's tallest, in Gujarat's Kevadia, news agency PTI reported.
"I want to say this with full responsibility that a tourist place getting global praise has not been visited yet or praised by the two Congress leaders. What else is there to say?" he said.
Javadekar, in his clarification, said that the ones making a big deal out of the issue never respected Sardar Patel. "The name of the Sports Complex is Sardar Patel Sports Enclave. Only the name of the cricket stadium, within the complex, has been named after Narendra Modi. Ironically, 'The Family', which never respected Sardar Patel, even after his death, is now making hue and cry," he tweeted.
Earlier, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had tweeted, "Maybe they just realised the stadium was named for a Home Minister who had banned their parent organisation! Or maybe this is advance booking to ensure the next visiting Head of State is hosted here, like Trump? Or is this the beginning of a legacy-creation-thru-labelling spree (sic)?"
Rajeev Satav, another Congress leader, said the renaming was "a clear sign of autocratic dictatorship". "Renaming Motera cricket stadium from Sardar Patel to Narendra Modi is an absolute disgrace. This shows how narcissistic our PM has become. This is outrageous and a clear sign of autocratic dictatorship," he said.