Tuesday, July 16, 2024

‘Won’t lose match as stadium’s name is Narendra Modi’: Thackeray’s dig at Centre

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Taking a swipe at the Centre over changing Motera stadium’s name to Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, Maharashtra chief minister Udhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that his party doesn’t need to learn Hindutva from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.

Someone said now we won’t be losing any cricket matches because the name of the stadium has been changed. We won’t be losing any match in that stadium… You erase name of Vallabh bhai (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel), do not award Bharat Ratna to Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) and try to teach Hindutva to us,” Thackeray said replying to a discussion on the Governor’s address in the state assembly.

Maharashtra chief minister’s remarks come days after the world’s largest cricketing arena in Ahmedabad was renamed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind, Union home minister Amit Shah and Union minister of state for sports Kiren Rijiju.

At the inauguration of the stadium, which can accommodate 130,000 spectators, last month, Shah had said, “Ahmedabad will then be known as the sports city of India.” The sports minister on the other hand had said, “It is a proud moment for India and not just cricket. While it is the largest cricket ground, it’s also one of the most modern stadiums in the world.”

Amid criticism by the opposition over renaming the stadium, Gujarat deputy chief Minister Nitin Patel earlier issued a clarification saying Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s name was never associated with the stadium.

“This stadium is owned by the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) and it was always known as the Motera Stadium. So there is no question of renaming it now. It was Narendra Modi, who had first floated the idea to demolish the old stadium and build a new one when he was the GCA president,” Patel said, adding that the Narendra Modi Stadium is part of a larger complex, named ‘Sardar Patel Sports Complex’.

Targeting the Congress over the issue, Union minister Prakash Javdekar had tweeted, “The name of the Sports Complex is Sardar Patel Sports Enclave. Only the name of the cricket stadium, within the complex, has been named after Narendra Modi. Ironically, ‘The Family’, which never respected Sardar Patel, even after his death, is now making hue and cry.”


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