Vadodara: Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government had laid the foundation stone for its proposed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel memorial without Centre`s environment clearance, Union Minister Bharatsinh Solanki has alleged.
"No environment clearance was sought (by Gujarat government) from the Union Environment Ministry for this project and without its approval, Modi laid the foundation stone of this project," he said.
Solanki, Union Minister of State for Sanitation and Drinking Water, was addressing a convention of Congress party workers from Vadodara and Chhota Udepur here last night.
A 182 metre-high statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, country`s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, is proposed to be raised at Sadhu Bet, close to the Sardar Sarovar dam, at a cost of Rs 2,063-crore. The foundation stone of the project was laid on October 31.
Former AICC secretary and former GPCC president Siddharth Patel said that Modi should not use the name of Sardar Patel to get political mileage ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Solanki criticised Modi saying that the debt burden on Gujarat has gone upto Rs 1.40 lakh crore during the BJP rule.
"After making Gujarat a debt-burdened state, Modi is dreaming of becoming the Prime Minister also to make the country debt-ridden," he said.
Reacting to Modi`s dynasty politics comments aimed at Congress, Solanki said, "If that is the case, then why did the BJP give tickets to the heir of the party leaders in the poll-bound Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh?"
Patel criticised Modi`s `khooni panja` (bloodied hand) and `zaalim haath` (cruel hand) barb against Congress saying, "The Gujarat chief minister`s taunt is an attempt to malign Congress` image and create fear in the minds of people towards the party."