BJP Asked kurmis to contribute tools for Sardar patel statue
Statesman news service
Patna, 26 July
Stung by his breaking their alliance midway, the BJP is now trying to cut the ground from under Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s feet in a different way ~ convincing his fellow Kurmis to join the BJP project of building the tallest-ever statue of "Iron Man" Sardar Vallabhai Patel, whom the people of Nalanda consider as their brother, by donating their iron tools.
The gigantic statue, to be known as the “Statue of Unity” is to be built in Gujarat, the state ruled by Narendra Modi.
Focussing their campaign in Mr Kumar&’s home district of Nalanda, the BJP leaders are making appeals to the Kurmis to liberally donate their farming tools to ensure that a grand statue of India&’s first home minister comes up in Gujarat.
“The people of Nalanda should actively participate in the BJP&’s programme if they consider Sardar Patel as their own. The country will be inspired by your move. It&’s your responsibility to donate as many iron tools as you can,” BJP leaders are telling the public in Nalanda, often called “Kurmistan” because of the high concentration of the Kurmi caste. “We will be collecting the first iron tools from Nalanda. Also, the iron tools to be collected from this district will be more than any other places in the country,” said senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. At a rally in Nalanda held yesterday, Mr Modi made another subtle attack on Mr Kumar when he asked why he considers Gujarat an “enemy land” and Narendra Modi his “enemy”. “Is it because Sardar Patel belonged to that state?” Mr Modi asked.
The BJP hopes to throw a spanner into Mr Kumar&’s caste equations as the collection of iron tools from his home district is bound to establish an emotional link between the people of Nalanda and Sardar Patel&’s home state. Mr Kumar, during his nearly four-decade-long political career has never contested any elections outside his home district. In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, he tried his luck from two seats, Nalanda and Barh. He lost the Barh LS seat badly, but won in Nalanda.
Reacting to the BJP&’s move, Mr Kumar said: “In fact, iron ore is found in Jharkhand…iron is made only there”.