Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi began Sunday by inaugurating the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam in Kevadia colony in Narmada district.
As part of the programme he performed Narmada aarti and offer prayers at the dam site.
The event was attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, BJP national president Amit Shah, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and several religious and spiritual heads from Gujarat.
Later in the day, Modi will visit Sadhu Bet to review the progress of the ‘Statue of Unity’. A 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first union home minister, is being built on the island.
PM Modi also attended the closing ceremony of ‘Narmada Mahotsav’ and will address a gathering at Dabhoi.
More than 1.5 lakh people are expected to attend the closing ceremony. He will lay the foundation stone for National Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum during the event.
PM Modi will then visit Amreli in Saurashtra where he will attend a host of programmes and address a public gathering.
Tracking PM Narendra Modi live updates:
1.05 pm: “My adivasi brothers have fought for independence of Maa Bharati, despite British executing hundreds of adivasi fighters. People think only handful people fought for independence. Tribal Museums will pay tribute to valiant adivasi fighters,” he said. “Tribal museums will be digitally equipped and will connect the youth with the real heroes of the freedom struggle,” Modi added.
1.01 pm: Modi said the ‘Statue of Unity’ will be a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel and will draw tourists from all over.
12.50 pm: “I do not believe in celebrating my birthday. But it’s Vishwakarma Jayanti today and celebrating this day with so many people has been one of the biggest moments with my life,” said Modi.
12.45 pm: “There have been many who politicised the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. But we overcame all conspiracies against Maa Narmada to complete the Sardar Sarovar project,” Modi said.
12.41 pm: “Lack of water resources has been a major factor in slowing the pace of development,” Modi said. “As Gujarat CM, I still remember, as CM when I went to border areas I saw BSF Jawans do not have water. We brought Narmada waters to borders for Jawans.”
12.38 pm: “Formulation of plans and implementation is difficult in India. Sardar Sarovar Dam faced so many obstacles. World Bank decided they won’t give money for the Sardar Sarovar Dam,” Modi said. “World Bank or no World Bank, hamne bhi thaan li thi ke dam banaake rahenge,” he said.
12.35 pm: “If two people were alive, this dam would have been built long ago. One, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Two, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who as Minister gave great emphasis to irrigation and waterways,” Modi said. “Sardar Patel had envisioned the dam years before, you, I and we all were born, before our independence. He would be happy today…imagine his vision that he envisioned this Dam to help farmers and citizens,” he said.
12.32 pm: “Will leave no stone unturned to achieve New India like Mahatma Gandhi achieved a new India earlier,” he said.
12.30 pm: “I am grateful towards people who have extended their warm wishes towards me,” he said. “Jeeyunga toh aapke sapno ke liye,” Modi said amid cheers. “I will also exhaust myself to for your dreams, for New India.”
12.28 pm: “I convey my greetings to everyone on Vishwakarma Jayanti and salute all those working hard to build our nation,” Modi said. “There can be no bigger tribute to workers who constructed the Narmada dam than to dedicate the dam to those workers.”
12.26 pm: “I have visited Dabhoi a lot of times. I came on a bus sometimes, sometimes on a scooter. I have lots of memories. But I have never seen a sea of people in Dabhoi before. The huge crowd is a result of the devotion towards Maa Narmada,” said PM Modi.
12.23 pm: PM Narendra Modi starts addressing the audience in Dabhoi.
12.17 pm: PM Modi lays the foundation stone for a Tribal Museum to come up near Statue of Unity. He also felicitates winners of Maa Narmada Mahotsav competitions like slogan writing, essays, poems and a mobile film.
12.01 pm: Targeting the previous Congress government for ‘obstructing’ Narmada dam, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said, “For many years, Congress party had government in Gujarat and Centre but did nothing to complete Narmada Dam.” He added that Congress government did work of only Rs 3000 crore in its tenure, while PM Modi “completed work of Rs 56,000 crore for Narmada Dam in 15 years opening doors of development in Gujarat.”
11.55 am: “Interlinking of three of 30 rivers will begin within three months. We will strive to make all of PM Modi’s dreams come true,” said Gadkari.
11.53 am: “Four crore Gujaratis will get drinking water and 22,000 hectares of land will be irrigated,” claimed Gadkari adding that PM Modi completed the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “Narmada Dam will help realise PM Modi’s dream of making poor farmers wealthy by 2022,” he added.
11.40 am: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said he was grateful towards PM Narendra Modi on behalf of the country and farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat for the dam. “We care for the environment but the people of our country should get drinking water, farmers should get water for agriculture and the youth of this country should get jobs,” Gadkari said.
11.35 am: PM Modi arrives in Dabhoi to resounding chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. The Prime Minister will be addressing a gathering at the closing ceremony of ‘Narmada Mahotsav’.