Sunday, December 15, 2013

Narendra Modi flagged off a 'Run for Unity' marathon in Vadodara

Modi flagged off the event this morning: AP via FirstPost

Tamil Nadu BJP President Shri. Pon.Radha Krishnan
Narendra Modi led a marathon 'run for unity' organised by BJP today across the country to mark death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whose legacy he has sought to espouse in the campaign for 2014 general election. ..
"This run is being organised with a determination to unite the people, unite the villages and unite the nation," the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate said flagging of the event in Vadodara, adding, "This is an effort to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of all Indians. Please do not view it from prism of politics."   
Over 100 kilometres away in Ahmedabad, senior BJP leader L K Advani inaugurated the run, saying it was a true tribute to Patel on his 63rd death anniversary and praised the people for turning up in large numbers.

Both Modi and Advani, who fell out over the naming of the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, have been praised as 'Iron man' by their party leaders and supporters. The title was originally used for Patel, India's first Home Minister.
Tamil Nadu State Secretary Smt.Vanathi Srinivasan
 BJP president Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley flagged off the marathon from the party headquarters in New Delhi. City leaders also participated in the 2-5 km run.

 Party MP and spokesperson Prakash Javadekar took part in the marathon in Hyderabad while actor-turned-MP Smriti Irani led the race in West Bengal.

Irani said, "I think today in the country, we have over 50 lakh participants in the 'Run for Unity' and I am grateful to all those who participated because they are contributing towards the unity of India."

The participants wore T-shirts with a picture of Sardar Patel on it. The theme for the race was good governance and national integration. 565 places were chosen by BJP for the race as Patel had integrated this number of princely states into the Union of India at the time of Independence.

BJP is also reaching out to people to collect iron pieces for the ambitious 'Statue of Unity' that Modi wants to build in memory of Sardar Patel -- touted as the tallest structure in the world.

Advani today said that "the country is showing the respect towards the great man that should have always been there".

Referring to Gujarat, Modi said it has moved ahead due to "spirit of peace, unity and 'sad-bhavana'."

In Hydrabad
Paying rich tributes to Patel, Modi said, "Sardar Patel devoted his life to unify the nation. He integrated the common people in the freedom struggle and made efforts to rid the nation of the colonial mindset. He undid the mindset of divisiveness and united the nation.

"When we remember Gandhiji we remember truth, non-violence, sacrifice, simplicity, Satyagraha; when we remember Sardar Patel, we remember Ekta, Surajya and Kisan (unity, good governance and the farmer)," he said.

Describing India's diversity was its strength, the Gujarat Chief Minister added: "Our diversity is not something that is on paper. It is the manifestation of our strength. It is not only our identity but also our tradition."

"Good governance" was the need of the hour, said Modi in an apparent potshot at Congress-led UPA government.

Olympian Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore participated in Jaipur while BJP leader Vinay Katiyar led the event in Kanpur. Former India cricketer VVS Laxman was among those who participated in the event in Hyderbad.

In Patna, a galaxy of BJP leaders like former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Rajya Sabha Deputy Leader of Opposition Ravishankar Prasad participated.

The run comprised 5 km, 15 km and 21 km distances.

Source: Outlookindia