PM takes dig at Opposition Congress over ‘Sardar’ and Sardar Sarovar, says he has full list of those who created obstructionsSeptember 17, 2017
Dabhoi (Gujarat): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that though he did not want to politicize the Narmada Dam project yet he was having the full list of ”all those who created road blocks and created difficulties in the project that was going to transform the lives of millions in Gujarat and other states.”
Addressing a massive meeting of cheering crowd at college ground here after dedicating Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation in nearby Kevadiya he also alleged that after the independence Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has not been presented the way he should be and the freedom of the country has been projected as a result of the effort of only a handful of people and the sacrifices of numerous tribal freedom fighters.
He also said that had Patel and Ambedkar, two far-sighted leaders lived a little longer, the country could have reached greater heights long back.
He said his Government had made firm resolve to dream big for the 125-crore people of the country and never gave up in the face of many odds.
”I have the list of the people who tried to create all hindrances in the completion of the project but I won’t politicise on this occasion,” Mr Modi said in his address.
In a veiled attack on the previous Congress Governments, he said the project was stalled whenever those who cared more for the party than for the country came to power, and it got going whenever the power went in the hands of those who loved the country more than the party.
He targeted the Congress once again when he said that it was unfortunate that the contribution of people like Sardar Patel was forgotten after Independence.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the ”farsight ” of the country’s first Home Minister who visualised this great project over 70 years back.
Had he lived longer, this dam would have been built in 1960s and 1970s and brought prosperity and greenery to the western states, he said.
The Prime Minister also paid tribute to Dr Bhimaro Ambedkar on this occasion for working on water revolution and making several far sighted schemes about water issue during his short tenure as minister.
”Had these two great men lived longer, we would have been saved from the calamities of floods and drought causing farmers deaths, but it was our bad luck that we lost these two men,” but today the dam built in Sardar’s name would become a symbol of the country’s strength.
”This project saw many ups and downs and all the forces of the world united to create roadblocks in the building of the project. We were accused of being anti-environment, and all kinds of falsehoods was propagated, he said and spoke of how the World Bank refused to give money for the project and even the saints and temples donated generously for the project in which concrete in such a volume with which 8 m wide road from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Kandla to Kohima could be constructed.
”Today the inauguration of the dam is an emotional moment for me. It is my happiest birthday,” he said adding that the soul of Sardar Patel would be showering blessings today.
Mr Modi said while western states lack water, eastern states want power and gas so the effort of his Government was to have a balanced development of both these arms of the country.
Coming to the building of the statue of Sardar Patel, being built on the Sadhu bet or island near the Dam, he said, ”The small things does not impress me. Neither do I speak small, nor act small. I have no right to dream small in a country of 125-crore people, so I decided to build a statue of Sardar Patel which would be the tallest in the world, 182 meter in height it would be almost double the height of the statue of liberty of the US.
This place will become a great tourist attraction and bring jobs to the people of the tribal dominated area of central Gujarat, he said adding that so far centuries old Tajmahal was projected as the biggest tourist attraction but the unit of statue would give another major one to the country.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the sacrifices of tribals in the Freedom Movement, and said the Government had decided to set up museums in recognition of their contribution to the Independence Struggle, one of which was inaugurated today.
He also express gratitude to Chief Ministers of Gujarat , Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for their cooperation in the building of the Dam.
Earlier, while beginning his speech, the Prime Minister said there were so many memories of the past attached with this place, but he had never seen ”such a sea of people which is the symbol of their reverence to the Ma Narmada.”
”Today is Vishwakarma jayanti which celebrates the job of all those who make this world better by their hard work. So this was the right occasion for dedicating the Sardar Sarovar Dam,” he added.
”People are greeting me on my birthday, and I assure you on this occasion that I will leave no stone unturned to live up to your expectations, to realise your dream, dream of a ‘New India’,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the Sardar Sarovar was not of any Government or party but of the people who came together to get the project going. He said Sadhus and sants also contributed in the making of the project.
”There could not be greater emotional moment for this son of Narmada ma than to see its water quenching the thrust of the parched motherland,” he said.
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