"Sardar Patel belongs to the entire country. He does not belong to one party. Some people say that BJP wants to proclaim the legacy (of Sardar Patel). We don't want to do that. We want the entire country to claim the legacy of Sardar Patel," senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said in Hyderabad.
    
"We want Congressmen as well to claim the legacy. Please do claim the legacy. Talk about the great work done by Sardar Patel. Tell the youngsters, new generation about the speeches he made," he said.
    
The senior BJP leader was speaking at a workshop for BJP activists from southern states on the project of installing a giant statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat, which is the brain child of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
    
He said that Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and other national leaders of his times, including Jawaharlal Nehru, belonged to all.
    
Congress was a platform for people and leaders who wanted to fight for the country's freedom, he said.
    
Hailing Sardar Patel as the unifier of the country, he said that every action of Patel was a message.
    
Brushing aside arguments like why the statue needed to be installed instead of focusing on providing basic amenities to people, he said essential things like food should be taken care of, but Sardar Patel stood for unity and peace, which needs to be remembered.

(Agencies)

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