Modi credits Patel’s vision for J&K move
Addressing a gathering near the Statue of Unity, a 182 metre statue of Patel, in the Narmada river on the occasion of the PM’s 69th birthday, Modi recalled Patel’s role in integration of princely states with India after Independence.Updated: Sep 18, 2019 03:40 IST
In an indirect reference to the government’s decision to revoke Jammu & Kashmir’s special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday credited the country’s first home minister Vallabhbhai Patel’s vision of a unified India for the move.
Addressing a gathering near the Statue of Unity, a 182 metre statue of Patel, in the Narmada river on the occasion of the PM’s 69th birthday, Modi recalled Patel’s role in integration of princely states with India after Independence.
Patel is credited with bringing 562 princely states into the Union fold. “September 17 is celebrated as Vishwakarma Jayanti. But the date is known in the history for another important development. It was on September 17, 1948, when Hyderabad was integrated with India thanks to the efforts of Vallabhbhai,” Modi said. “Sardar’s vision of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat was the motivation behind my government’s recent step in Jammu and Kashmir. My government is committed to this vision,” the PM added. The government revoked Article 370, which bestowed special status to Jammu & Kashmir, on August 5 and bifurcated the restive state into two Union Territories. After offering prayers to the Narmada river at the Sardar Sarovar Dam, which touched its full capacity of 138.68 metre for the first time in 30 years, Modi said, “The dream of Vallabhbhai has been fulfilled today… And this dream is coming true in the front of the Sardar’s statue’’.
Located three km from the dam at Sadhu Bet island, the 182-metre statue is tallest in the world.
Commenting on the long journey of the dam’s construction, Modi said, “There was a time that even raising the dam’s level up to 122 feet was an achievement. But in the last five years, the dam has attained its full height of 138 metres, which is amazing.”
In 2006, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi had gone on a hunger strike to protest the Centre’s decision over not raising the dam’s height.
His office was also at loggerheads with then PM Manmohan Singh over the installation of radial gates that take the dam’s height to the maximum level. Within 17 days of becoming the PM in 2014, his government decided to install the gates. He said that projects successful in Gujarat, such as a drip and micro-irrigation programme, can be useful in doubling farm incomes across the country.
First Published: Sep 18, 2019 03:40 IST