Hyderabad: Why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi so keen to claim the legacy of Vallabhbhai Patel? There are supposedly two reasons for this and both are cynically political.
The first reason, it is said, is that he wants to expose how the Congress has ignored national leaders other than those from the Nehru-Gandhi family. In addition to promoting Patel, the Modi government is also giving proper respect to leaders such as B.R. Ambedkar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who also belonged to the Congress. Mr Modi has zeroed in on Sardar Patel as a leader worth promoting after he became PM. In Gujarat, the Patel or Patedar community to which Vallabhabhai Patel belonged was traditionally a strong supporter of the BJP. But two years ago, the community started an agitation that grabbed the national headlines, to get reservation for its members. To woo the Patel community back to the BJP fold, Mr Modi is promoting its most iconic member, goes the second reason.