Uddhav Thackeray  |  Photo Credit: PTI
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday took a potshot at the Centre over the renaming of Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that “India will not lose any cricket match now”.
“We will not lose any cricket match as the name of the stadium (Motera) has been changed to Narendra Modi Stadium. We have named the international airport after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but they have changed Sardar Patel stadium’s name. We don’t have to learn Hindutva from you,” he said in the state Assembly.
President Ram Nath Kovind recently inaugurated the Motera stadium – the world’s largest cricket arena – and named it after PM Modi, drawing sharp reactions from various quarters.
Political row over renaming of Motera stadium
The renaming of the stadium triggered a political slugfest with some calling it a “clear sign of autocratic dictatorship”.
“Renaming Motera cricket stadium from Sardar Patel to Narendra Modi is an absolute disgrace. This shows how narcissistic our PM has become. This is outrageous and a clear sign of autocratic dictatorship,” Congress leader Rajeev Satav had said.
Govt’s clarification on allegations
Following a huge backlash, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s name was never associated with the stadium in question and that Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera is part of a larger complex, named ‘Sardar Patel Sports Complex’.
Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad had also clarified said that only Motera stadium has been named after PM Modi and the complex in which it is located is still called Sardar Patel Sports Enclave.
Spread over 63 acres, the stadium – a state-of-the-art facility – can accommodate an awe-inspiring 1.32 lakh spectators. The enormous structure has been built 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.