Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday slammed the Center for naming the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said “India will not lose any cricket matches now”.
“We will not lose any cricket match because the stadium (Motera) has been renamed to Narendra Modi Stadium. We have named the international airport after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but he changed the name of Sardar Patel Stadium. We have to learn Hindutva from you,” he said in the state assembly.
Launching his attack on the BJP, the CM of Maharashtra said, “(Shiv) Sena was not a part of the freedom struggle but neither was your parent organisation (RSS). Just chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ doesn’t make you (BJP) a patriot.”
President Ram Nath Kovind recently inaugurated the Motera Stadium – the world’s largest cricket ground – and is named after PM Modi.
The renaming of the stadium triggered a political slugfest with some calling it a “clear sign of autocratic dictatorship”.
Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad had also clarified that only the Motera Stadium is named after PM Modi and the campus in which it is situated is still called Sardar Patel Sports Enclave.
Spread over 63 acres, the stadium – a state-of-the-art facility – can surprise 1.32 lakh spectators. The massive structure has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore.
“The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic size soccer fields put together,” the government said in a note.