NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday visited the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat to mark his 69th birthday. Addressing a public rally in Kevadiya, Modi spoke on the Statue of Unity, the abrogation of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Sardar Patel & the Statue of Unity
The Prime Minister lauded the vision of Sardar Patel, adding the BJP-led Government’s decision last month on Jammu & Kashmir was an inspiration from the former Home Minister of India.
The abrogation of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and the decision to bifurcate the state into 2 Union Territories are inspired by Sardar Patel and are an attempt to find solution to a decades-old problem, Modi said.
The PM said the Hyderabad Liberation Day is a result of Sardar Patel’s vision. Observed on September 17 each year, it marks the day in 1948 when the erstwhile Hyderabad State was annexed to the Indian Union.
Modi said he was happy to see the rising number of visitors to the Statue of Unity. While the 133-year-old State of Liberty gets around 10,000 visitors per day, about 8,500 people visit the 11-month-old Statue of Unity daily, he said.
The Sardar Sarovar project is catering to needs of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and has benefited people in these four states, he further said.
On his visit to his home state, Modi said he was confident of bringing prosperity and trust to Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh “with the active support of millions of colleagues.”
On BJP’s 100 days at Centre
The Prime Minister also spoke on the BJP-led NDA Government’s 100 days in its 2nd consecutive term.
“Your servant is fully committed to the unity and superiority of India. We have strengthened this commitment over the last 100 days,” he said, adding that the new Government “will work faster than before, will achieve bigger goals than before.”
PM celebrates birthday at Gujarat
Earlier today, Modi offered prayers to goddess Narmada at the Sardar Sarovar dam. Accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Modi offered prayers as part of the state Government’s Namami Devi Narmade Mahotsav celebrations being held to mark the dam receiving water to its full capacity.
Modi also visited the Butterfly Garden in Kevadiya and named the saffron coloured plain tiger butterfly as the state butterfly.
He later paid a visit to the Statue of Unity and the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada. The Statue of Unity, billed as the tallest in the world, was inaugurated by him on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary on October 31 last year.
He also tweeted a video of the statue, taken from his helicopter. Modi arrived at Kevadiya on Tuesday morning to take part in the ‘Namami Narmada’ festival being celebrated by the Gujarat Government to mark the filling up of the dam to its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres.
For the first time since the height of the dam was raised in 2017, the water level reached its highest peak at 138.68 metres on Sunday evening. Modi along with Rupani, then performed ‘puja’ at the dam site to ‘welcome’ the water of river Narmada, the lifeline of Gujarat.
(IE with PTI inputs)