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AHMEDABAD: “Every Indian still regrets that (Patel) did not become the first Prime Minister. Had he been the first Prime Minister, the country’s destiny would have been different”
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country’s destiny would have been different if Sardar Patel had become the first Prime Minister.
Sharing dais with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Ahmedabad, he credited Patel, India first Home Minister, with uniting the country and said the same unity and integrity was under threat from terrorism and Maoism at present.
“Every Indian still regrets that he (Patel) did not become the first Prime Minister. Had he been the first Prime Minister, the country’s destiny would have been different,” he said.
BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate was speaking at a function to inaugurate a museum dedicated to Patel, who was born in Gujarat.
Invoking Patel, Mr. Modi said the first Home Minister was instrumental in uniting the country after Independence.
“That unity and integrity of the country today is under threat from all fronts, be it terrorism or maoism,” he said, adding Dr. Singh himself had said that Maoism is a great threat to the country.
Referring to those who have resorted to terrorism and Maoism, Mr. Modi said they were causing the biggest harm to their own communities and appealed to the “misguided” youth to shun violence and return to the mainstream for the country’s development.
Citing the example of Punjab, he asserted that those resorting to violence would not succeed in the country of Mahatma Gandhi and Patel.
“I want to tell the misguided youth who resort to bombs and guns that they cannot succeed in the land of Gandhi and Sardar (Patel). They cause harm to the country. But the biggest harm is caused to their own communities,” he said.