Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spent the day in Gujarat on his 69th birthday, said the state continues to be an inspiration for the country and is a model of development.
“In our culture it is believed that development can be done while protecting the environment. Nature is dear to us, it is our jewel.Gujarat shows that progress and sustainability can be achieved at the same time,” said Modi addressing a rally in Kevadia in Narmada district.
PM Modi lauded Vallabhbhai Patel for his contribution to the nation and said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s decision to nullify Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was also inspired by India’s first deputy prime minister. “The government’s decision to find a solution to the decades-old problem was inspired by Sardar Patel,” he said.
The Prime Minister started his day by visiting the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the Statue of Unity, dedicated to Vallabhbhai Patel. He tweeted a video of the 182-metre steel and bronze statue as his chopper flew around it on his way from Ahmedabad to Kevadiya. He had inaugurated the statue in 2017.
In his speech, Modi said Sardar Sarovar Dam and the world’s tallest statue symbolize Patel’s willpower and determination. The PM said the 133-year-old Statue of Liberty gets 10,000 visitors per day but 8,500 people visit 11-month-old Statue of Unity daily. “I am confident that with his inspiration, we will prove every resolve associated with new India and achieve every goal,” he said.
Modi and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani will also perform puja at the dam site to ‘welcome’ the water of river Narmada. Later in the day, the Prime Minister is likely to meet his 99-year-old mother Heeraben in Gandhinagar.