Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
Ahmedabad: At a function to inaugurate a museum dedicated to the life of India`s first Home Minister and freedom fighter Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi underlined the need for unity in the country and denounced the culture of violence.
At the same time, while welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present on the dais with him, Modi said that if Patel had become the first PM of India then the fate of the country would have been different.
"Every Indian wishes that Patel should have become the first PM of India. If it had been so, then the face and the fate of the country would have been something else," Modi said, adding, "Patel was a visionary. As far back as in 1919, when he was a councillor in Gujarat he talked of women`s reservation and urban planning."
Hailing Patel as the man who worked tirelessly for the unity of the country, Gujarat CM said, "He worked for the unity of the country and has left behind a rich legacy for us. But sadly whether it is terrorism or Maoism, attempts are being made to break the country." He added, "But I know that they will not be successful at their attempts. In the land of Gandhi and Patel, the culture of guns and bombs will never succeed."
Modi also exhorted those who had strayed to join the mainstream and work for the progress of the country. "Those who have gone on the wrong path should come back and work for the growth and betterment of the country," he said. Modi added that this could be done and gave the example of Punjab.
Extending a warm welcome to Manmohan Singh, Modi thanked the PM for all the awards that the Centre had bestowed upon Gujarat for good governance. He said that the awards had inspired his government to work harder.
Meanwhile, Modi was booed by a section of the crowd present there when he said that Patel should have become the first prime minister of India.