Madhya Pradesh Governor and former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel still seems to believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “not married’’! At least that is what she claimed at an anganwadi centre at Timari in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.
In a video clip of the statement (in Hindi), which has since gone viral, Patel says, “Narendrabhai was not married, yet he understood the pain and problems that women and children face pre- and post-childbirth.’’
Her statement “unhone (Modi) vivah nahi kiya hai yeh toh pata hai naa aapko, Narendrabhai ne shaadi nahi ki hai” was recorded by an onlooker when she visited an anganwadi centre in ward number seven of the town.
In the video, Patel is seen sitting on a chair with local MLA Sanjay Shah and speaking over microphone. She openly told anganwadi workers and children that Modi did not marry, yet he understands the problems of women.
Patel was on a day-long visit to Harda where she visited the local hospital and interacted with mothers of children admitted in the hospital. She distributed nutritious food and fruits to them.
Patel told the doctors to play an active role to save children from malnutrition. Shah complained to the governor of the poor quality of food and drinking water supplied in the hospital.
Patel also dedicated a newly constructed Shishu Vatika Bhavan of Saraswati Shishu Mandir. The institution was built by RSS affiliate Vidya Bharti. Patel said when she was chief minister of Gujarat, she gave the work of giving training to anganwadi workers to Vidya Bharti.
Modi's marital status was a matter of much curiosity until 2014 when his election affidavit mentioned he was married to Jashodaben in 1968. Though estranged, Jashodaben receives security prescribed in the rulebook for the spouse of a prime minister.
Patel was regarded as an acolyte of Modi and succeeded him as Gujarat chief minister when he took over as prime minister in 2014. However, she was criticised for her poor handling of the Patidar reservation agitation; Patel resigned as chief minister in August 2016, citing old age.