Meghalaya Governor hails Modi's decision for inaugurating Patel's statue
Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy Thursday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inaugurating the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat and said had the nationalist leader been made the prime minister after Independence there would not have been any Kashmir problem.
Roy inaugurated a book 'Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel A Statesman Extraordinary' here. Patel's 240 m statues, considered the tallest in the world and called the Statue of Unity, has been in the centre of controversy since its inauguration by Modi on October 31 this year.
"I do not see any problem if a prime minister tries to show his respect and honour to a former deputy prime minister. I think that by inaugurating the tallest statue of Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done a commendable job," Roy told newsmen here.
"He (Patel) was denied the post of the country's first prime minister and on the persistence of Gandhiji, he was made the deputy prime minister. And he was the architect behind several princely states joining India. "But he was not allowed to handle the Kashmir issue because it was looked after by Jawaharlal Nehru. Had Gandhiji anointed Vallabhbhai Patel as the prime minister then there would have been no Kashmir problem," Roy said.
Patel (18751950) was the first deputy prime minister of India and had helped in the unification of hundreds of princely states to India. The Meghalaya governor also questioned the then central government's decision to support China's invasion of Tibet and annexing the region to its territory.
China had annexed Tibet in 1950-51. The Chinese government is now using the land it had annexed in creating problems for India, Roy said. "If the Indian government had then opposed the Chinese invasion of Tibet and let foreign powers use its land for the same reason then the annexing of Tibet could have been stopped. Tibet could have remained as the buffer state between India and China and today's situation (Chinese intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh) could have not occurred," Roy stated.
(With inputs from agencies.)