Patidars-led movement seeks to rename Narendra Modi Stadium after Patel
A group, named Sardar Sanman Sankalp Andolan Samiti (SSSAS), Gujarat, has planned to take out a march from Bardoli to Motera from June 12, demanding to "restore" the name of Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad's Motera as Sardar Patel Stadium. SSSAS Convener Atul Patel said they held an apolitical convention at Sardar Vallabhbhai National Memorial under the leadership of ex-Union Minister Dinsha Patel.
- Notably, the Motera Stadium was earlier known as the Sardar Patel Stadium and is the world's biggest stadium.
- The stadium was renamed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2021 after its renovation.
- Since then, renaming has sparked controversy across the country.
- Congress and other opposition parties had even termed the renaming exercise an "insult" to Sardar Patel.
Reportedly, the movement is steered by Patidar activists. The group's first meeting was attended by the former Gujarat Chief Minister and veteran politician Shankersinh Vaghela. The group also includes leaders from the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group. Dalit Adhikar Manch, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, and Rabari Samaj, among 25 such organisations were also a part of the meeting.
Politicians, who attended the first meeting as speakers, included former Gujarat Congress chief Siddharth Patel, senior Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani and senior leader Deepak Babaria. Few veteran journalists from the state also participated in the discussion held during the meeting.
During the meeting, Patidar leaders expressed their displeasure with Hardik Patel joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Taking a jibe at Patel, they said that no movement could be built out of fear. "Don't change the Sardar cap as that boy did." Sardar Patel Group leader Laljibhai Patel slammed Patel for joining the BJP, saying that he caused "immense damage to the Patidar cause."