New Delhi: Narendra Modi has sent a special invitation to one of his most ardent critics, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate for prime minister has asked Mr Ramesh, who heads the Rural Development Ministry, to attend the 'bhoomipujan' ceremony for the proposed giant statue of freedom fighter and iconic leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the 31st of this month in Kevadia colony in the Narmad district of south Gujarat.
In his letter, Mr Modi writes, "It is our belief that the monument will become an important cornerstone in the cultural and social life of our great nation."
The four-time chief minister of Gujarat says that the statue will be 182 metres high and will be twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty in the US.
It will be located in the middle of the Narmada river, near the Saradar Sarovar dam at Kevadia, more than 200 kilometres south of Ahmedabad.
Mr Modi's letter to the minister opens with "My dear Jairam Ji" and ends with "warm personal regards."
Earlier this month, Mr Ramesh took on the Gujarat leader, saying that Mr Modi signalled delayed "enlightenment" in his comment that it's more important to build toilets than temples.
Mr Ramesh had been attacked by the BJP when he made a similar statement last year.
In June, the minister referred to Mr Modi as 'Bhasmasur', a mythological character who tried to destroy his creator. Mr Ramesh was referring to the fraught relationship that the chief minister shares with his one-time mentor, BJP leader LK Advani, who stridently opposed the party's decision to pick Mr Modi as its choice for prime minister.