Buoyed by its victory in assembly polls in four states, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is out to maintain the momentum in the build-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Under the party's programme, a team from the BJP's Gujarat unit would travel across the country to collect soil and iron for the upcoming 'statue of unity' of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat. This brainchild of Gujarat CM and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would be the world's tallest statue (182 metres).
A Gujarat BJP team, including three ministers, three MPs, seven MLAs and office-bearers, reached here on Monday. It would visit Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and the union territory of Chandigarh to mobilise party cadres and the public for the collection of sand and iron. A workshop in this regard was organised for BJP workers of north India on Monday.
With the apparent purpose of projecting the BJP's secular image, the team would visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar to collect soil and water for the statue. The team members would go to Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday.
"Modi would unveil the statue as Prime Minister," Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, who is leading the team, told the gathering. Chudasma asked party leaders and workers to involve the people, "make them feel righteous." He asked them to visit all villages from December 15 to January 26. Iron in the form of pieces of agriculture implements used by farmers would be collected from various villages.
A 'run for unity' has been planned at 562 locations across the country on December 15 to commemorate Patel's death anniversary.
"Go door to door, house to house, in every village to collect soil and metal for the statue," said Gujarat minister of state for education Prof Vasuben Trivedi. Referring to Sunday's poll results, she began her address with "BJP di balle-balle, Congress thaley-thaley," drawing cheers from the audience.
BJP's Kisan Morcha president OP Dhankar, coordinator for the collection of soil and metal, said the Congress had always promoted one family at the cost of legendary leaders such as Sardar Patel, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. "Modi bhai wants all legendary leaders and freedom fighters to be in the public domain," said Dhankar, adding that the statue could have been built solely by the Gujarat government but they wanted to involve every Indian.
BJP's Punjab unit president Kamal Sharma and Chandigarh unit president Sanjay Tandon were present on the occasion.
Meeting with Badal, Hooda
The BJP team from Gujarat met Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal regarding the collection of soil and metal from villages. "I can't say how Hooda saab would respond to our request, but we are talking beyond politics," said Chudasma.
Chandigarh: Buoyed by its victory in assembly polls in four states, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is out to maintain the momentum in the build-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections.