Union road, transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a major role in rebuilding the Ahmedabad Stadium, so there was nothing wrong in renaming the stadium after him.
Sharing his views with Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Mr. Gadkari said that he didn’t want to get drawn into any controversy over the debatable issue. He, however, observed:
“If it is a unanimous decision, done after consultation with all involved, then it can be done (renaming). Also, I feel if people have contributed towards the construction of something, there is nothing wrong in renaming the structure after them. Why not give them credit?”
Giving the example of the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Mr. Gadkari added:
“Mr. Wankhede (SK Wankhede, former cricket administrator and politician) had built the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. People accepted it. The stadium in Ahmedabad was because of Narendra Modiji. He had a major contribution in rebuilding the stadium. Sometimes stadiums are named after players, sometimes politicians, who have made some contributions, like we have one named after Arun Jaitley (earlier known as the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium).
Mr. Gadkari also opined that people’s emotions need to be taken into consideration. The Minister said in this regard:
“There are people’s emotions. Such things have happened in the past, and will happen in the future as well.”
How the Sardar Patel Stadium became the Narendra Modi Stadium
The world’s largest cricket stadium at Motera in Ahmedabad was renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium and inaugurated ahead of the India-England pink-ball Test.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his son Jay Shah, who is also the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, were present on the occasion.
In his inaugural address, President Kovind said:
“This stadium was conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was also the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association at that time.”
Shah added that after the completion of the Sardar Patel Sports Enclave, Ahmedabad will offer state-of-the-art sports infrastructure, saying:
“Coupled with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave and the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a sports complex will also be built in Naranpura. These three will be equipped to host any international sports event.”
The pink-ball Test at the rebuilt Narendra Modi Stadium ended in under two days, with both India and England batsmen failing to deal with the raging turner.
Despite the track dividing opinion, a similar one is expected for the fourth Test at the same venue as well.