Invoking the Iron Man's legacy, the chief minister of Gujarat said that had the former home minister been not there "one would have to take a visa to go to Junagadh and Gir Lions would have been in Pakistan".
He further added," Sardar Patel joined farmers from different parts of the country in the freedom struggle. If you remember Mahatma Gandhi, you have to remember Sardar as well."
Snubbing Sardar Patel's political inclination, Modi emphasized that he was beyond any political barrier: "people say that Sardar Patel was a Congressman and he appropriated him, but I say he was a great Indian and served the country".
According to a report by ZeeNews, Modi's comments came in the wake of the inauguration of the Khodal Dhan Agri vision India - 2014 at Rajkot, which was done by him.
The estimated cost of the proposed 182-metre tall "Statue of Unity" is Rs 2,074 crore. It is likely to come up on an island in Narmada river. The foundation stone of the statue has been laid down by the chief minister on his birth anniversary near the Sardar Sarovar dam last year. Modi is now garnering support for the same from other states.