Hyderabad, Nov 4: Stating that the NDA Government was inspired by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the country's first Home minister got the Bharat Ratna only in 1991, when someone from outside the Gandhi family was the Prime Minister.
"Our dream to make India a big power comes from Sardar Patel's thinking. He had a vision to make India a strong nation in the world," Prasad said, delivering a talk on 'Sardar Patel: Intricacies and Imperatives of Nation Building', organised by BJP.
Had Patel handled the Kashmir issue, "the story would have been different", Prasad said. Patel was given Bharat Ratna in 1991 by the Narasimha Rao government, 41 years after his death, the Union Law Minister said.
"Which were those forces which were stopping Bharat Ratna from being given to Sardar Patel? He got Bharat Ratna in 1991 only because the then PM was from outside the (Gandhi) family," he said. Patel should have been India's first Prime Minister, Prasad added.
Patel had written to Jawaharlal Nehru early on cautioning him about China's policy, but Nehru was then impressed by China and spoke of friendship.
However, when the Kashmir matter went to the UN, there was not much support from China, Prasad said, quoting from Patel's letter, and added that it showed Patel's far sightedness.
Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's robust diplomacy, even countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Muscat, Iran, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi now stand with India on issues related to Pakistan, he said.
"Rahul Gandhi used to say Narendra Modi goes on foreign trips. Narendra Modi did not go to foreign countries for vacations, but to strengthen country's security and to weaken Pakistan's (security)," he said.