On his first visit to Gujarat as Bharatiya Janata Party president, Nitin Gadkari on Saturday drew parallels between Mahatma Gandhi and Narendra Modi, saying both believed that politics was an instrument to alleviate poverty.
Gadkari, whose visit coincides with the 61st death anniversary of Mahatma, also said that Gandhi and the BJP's founding father Deen Dayal Upadhyaya believed in the same ideals of national unity and equality.
"I am happy that I am at Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace today and I also had the opportunity to unveil a statue of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. Both were men who thought national unity of foremost importance. Like him Gandhiji believed that politics should be used as a tool of socio-economic development and not as an instrument of power.
"Alleviating poverty should be the end of all politics and a living example of that ideal is Narendra Modi who is working tirelessly for the same goal," Gadkari told journalists while inaugurating a special exhibition of sand sculptures depicting the life and values of the Mahatma.
Gadkari and Modi also attended the 34rth Garib Kaliyan Mela here and the chief minister said that as Gujarat celebrates its golden anniversary poverty alleviation is his prime goal.
"We are providing relief worth Rs 1,500 crore to more than 50 lakh families through the Garib Kalyan programme. I have taken it upon myself to organise 50 more melas," said Modi.
Earlier, both of them attended a prayer meeting at Kirti Mandir, Mahatma's birthplace in Porbandar town.The exhibition of sand sculpting has been organized with a theme of Gandhian values and Modi announced that it would be made into a annual event with next year's theme being 'Gandhi and the Environment'.