Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today accused the Congress-led UPA government of reneging on its promise made in 2005 of developing the historical Sabarmati-Dandi stretch,taken by Mahatma Gandhi for the salt march as “heritage route”.
“In 2005,to gain political capital on the 75th anniversary of the Dandi march,the UPA government organised an event. Senior Congress leaders came to Gujarat for photo opportunities. Keeping aside political differences,our government welcomed all because it was an occasion,which gave inspiration to the nation,” Modi said,in his address on the occasion of Gujarat’s 53rd Foundation Day here.
“On that occasion,the PM declared that the Sabarmati-Dandi route which Gandhiji travelled on would be declared ‘heritage marg’,” Modi said.
“The Prime Minister had declared Gandhiji’s exact route would be built as heritage marg (route),but now the government write us to name the existing government road as heritage road and not the original route taken up by Mahatma Gandhi,” he said adding that the letter says that original route will cost too much to government exchequer.
Modi accused the Congress of not following Gandhiji’s path and trying to change Gandhiji’s path as well.
“Congress leaders claim to walk on Gandhiji’s path but that has never happened. Now they are forcing Gandhiji to change his path,” Modi said.
Modi asked the Union government to fulfill the promise,which the Prime Minister had made to the nation.
“You had made a promise to the nation… No individual who has read India’s history,no Gujarati will tolerate government’s efforts to change Gandhiji’s path,” Modi said.
Modi requested the Central government to not view history through the prism of money. He said “I hope that the PM and the Central Government not view this in terms of money for history cannot be viewed in terms of money,it is an inspiration…,a bridge to the future.”
Stressing on the importance of the Dandi March in Indian history,Modi said,”The way salt is important in a person’s life,similarly the role of the Dandi movement is very important in our freedom struggle. Let us not reduce the importance of this event.”
During his address,Modi recalled that for political reasons,previous governments had not given enough importance to the Gujarat Foundation day.
“Today is Gujarat’s foundation day,and our government has given it a special place. After the formation of Gujarat,many governments came into being,but they did not keep an open mind about celebrating the day. They did not remember the martyrs who laid down their lives for Gujarat and they did not remember the contributions of Indu Chacha (Indulal Yagnik),” Modi said,taking a dig at previous Congress-led governments in the state.
He reiterated state government’s activities in highlighting history.
“There was an effort by some to erase this history but we have made efforts to prevent them from doing so.”
Modi also affirmed that this year’s celebrations of Gujarat Foundation day would give a boost to the development works in Navasari district.
Sharing an example of spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin,he said,”He sacrificed a lot for the nation,and his work brought glory to Dandi,but certain people did not want to remember that.”
Modi paid tributes to the martyrs of the Mahagujarat movement and urged everyone to remember Gandhiji.