The foundation stone of the Statue of Unity was laid in the august presence of Shri LK Advani ji. Advani ji released the book ‘Hind Ke Sardar’ and gave an inspiring speech on the occasion, where he paid rich tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for integrating the nation. Advani ji affirmed that if Sardar Patel was not there, the nation would have witnessed many divisions. Elaborating further on Sardar Patel’s efforts to integrate the princely states, Advani ji said that people talk about Junagadh, Kashmir and Hyderabad but there were several other states as well that Sardar Patel integrated successfully. He shared that it was Sardar Patel who went to the Nizam of Hyderabad and told him that the atrocities of the Razakars will not be tolerated by Independent India.
Advani ji pointed out that what Sardar Patel did in a very short span of time, no other leader would have been able to do. He went on to say that India became Independent in 1947 and Sardar Patel died in 1950 and in this short period of time he managed some of the toughest situations very well and even integrated the nation. Advani ji pointed that the two books by VP Menon reveal the greatness of Sardar Patel.
Shri LK Advani expressed his joy to be in Gujarat and recalled his old bond with the state that began from the time he first came here in 1945. Advani ji gave a fitting answer to those who believed colonial rule was good for India or those who felt that the rulers were decent (Sabhya) people. Shri Advani ji said that the British left India due to the struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and even the several individuals who were not associated with the Congress Party, giving the example of the Naval uprising.
In his speech, Shri LK Advani ji congratulated Shri Narendra Modi for the effort of building the Statue of Unity, saying that the Sankalp done by Narendra Modi is like no other in the world. Advani ji shared that people go to see the Statue of Liberty but when they see the Statue of Unity they will be very proud. He expressed immense joy and pride on Shri Narendra Modi being declared as the PM candidate by the BJP.
Speaking on the occasion, Gujarat’s Forest Minister Shri Ganpatsinh Vasava spoke about the contribution of Sardar Patel to the freedom struggle.
Revenue Minister Smt. Anandiben Patel paid tributes to Sardar Patel and said that the Statue of Unity was not merely a statue but a centre of inspiration for everyone. She lauded the efforts of Shri Modi in resolving issues relating to the Narmada Dam.
Finance Minister Shri Nitin Patel addressed the gathering as well.