The Narendra Modi government has not given a single penny to set up the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Museum, said Dinsha Patel, chairman of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Society. He further stated that the Keshubhai Patel government had given Rs60 lakh as corpus.
Yet, Modi has conceived the Statue of Unity at a cost of Rs2,000 crore at Kevadiya to pay tribute to Sardar Patel, claimed Patel, also the Union minister for mines.
The Sardar Patel museum, sprawling over 36,000 sq m, has been built at a cost of Rs28.54 crore. The Centre gave Rs17 crore in 2010 to build the museum. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be sharing the dais with Modi probably for the first time at the inauguration of the museum at Shahibaug on October 29. He will also visit the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee office at Paldi in the evening.
The political rivalry between Modi and Singh has come to the fore recently with Modi targeting the PM. Moreover, with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) having declared Modi as the prime ministerial candidate, all eyes are on the event. Patel, however, denied that there was any political agenda behind the PM’s visit. “I have invited him (Modi) and he has assured of coming,” he said.
“It is very generous of the Prime Minister to ensure that the chief minister gets invited at the function,” said Patel. He added that being the Prime Minister, he has made it a point that if he attends any function in any state, the chief minister of that state should be invited, too, irrespective of his or her political affiliation.
When asked about Modi’s attack on the Centre and the PM, Patel, also the MP from Kheda, discarded the possibility of the Gujarat CM making derogatory remarks against the PM. “I cannot predict what he will say. But good people deliver good speeches,” he said, adding that what reply should be given to Modi, if needed, cannot be predicted so early.
Museum at a glance
Statue of Sardar, Gandhi and Nehru and Sardar’s eight-foot-tall statue
Sardar’s personal belongings and gifts
3D film on Sardar and freedom movement
Miniature of Sardar’s residents, schools, jail and other places associated with his life
14 multimedia interactive displays.