In the last couple of days, Indian netizens were in awe of the refurbished Motera cricket stadium or formally known as the Sardar Patel Stadium. However, from today, the Sardar Patel stadium has been renamed Narendra Modi Stadium.
Ahead of the third Test match between India and England, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the stadium in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and other senior dignitaries. The stadium is currently the largest cricket stadium in the world.
Shortly after the inauguration, President Kovind said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi conceptualised this stadium when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was president of the Gujarat Cricket Association at that time.”
Home Minister Shah said the stadium was Prime Minister Modi’s dream. “We have decided to name it after the country’s Prime Minister. It was Modi ji’s dream project,” he said.
There will be a sports complex within the stadium which will be named Sardar Patel Sports Complex. The complex would have facilities for football, hockey, tennis, kabaddi, boxing and basketball.
“Along with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave and 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,” Shah said, adding that Ahmedabad will be known as the ‘sports city’ of India.
Though India is proud of having the World’s biggest cricket stadium, however, the rechristening of the stadium has taken many by surprise. Some were shocked by the sudden name change and the move has garnered strong reactions on Twitter especially from those who are not supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Gujarat Congress leader Hardik Patel reacted strongly against renaming the stadium after Modi.
“The Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium is the world's largest stadium situated in Ahmedabad and has now been renamed as Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium, is it not an insult to Sardar Patel,” he said in a tweet. Hardik said that “the BJP, which has been seeking votes in the name of Sardar Patel, is now insulting Sardar Patel”. He added that the people of Gujarat will not tolerate this insult of Sardar Patel.
Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor questioned the renaming of the cricket stadium.
Even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not shy away from taking a jibe at PM Modi and the BJP for renaming the Motera stadium.
Many netizens expressed dissatisfaction over the satdium's name change with some slamming PM Modi and the BJP.
BJP and PM Modi’s supporters immediately hit back saying that Congress has named sports events and other major achievements after former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.