BJP to collect iron tools for Sardar Patel statue from Nitish turf

The Bihar unit of the BJP, which has started preparing for the October 27 Patna 'Hunkar rally' of BJP campaign committee chief and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, will follow it up with collection of iron tools for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's statue from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's home district of Nalanda. The party had started its current campaign too from Nalanda.

By invoking Sardar Patel, the BJP also hopes to woo a large section of Kurmi voters in the district who keep 'Patel' as their surname. "We have given them an opportunity to rally behind the biggest Patel — Sardar Patel. This is not caste politics but to tell them about real heroes," said a senior BJP leader.

Former deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told The Indian Express: "We have already exhorted Nalanda farmers to give us maximum iron tools. We are only asking for agricultural implements from farmers. We will start iron tools collection from Nalanda and go to all 8,500-odd panchayats of the state."

The former deputy Chief Minister said the party hoped to give a befitting reply to unwarranted criticism of Narendra Modi, who has decided to build the tallest statue of the world to symbolise unity and solidarity.

JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson K C Tyagi, however, said: "The BJP would not benefit from invoking Sardar Patel in Nalanda or elsewhere in Bihar. Sardar Patel always opposed Jan Sangh and RSS ideology. Patel stands above petty politics and is a symbol of unity."

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