Modi flags off 'Run for Unity' marathon, appeals not to view event politically

ModiBJP PM candidate Narendra Modi flagged off 'Run for Unity' marathon and appealed that the event not be viewed with the prism of politics. (IE Photo: Bhupendra Rana)

Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off the 'Run for Unity' marathon in Vadodara where over 1 lakh persons gathered in city's Navlakhi ground, to mark the 63rd death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The massive marathon run, which was held across 1,000 venues, saw participation from over 40 lakh people, Modi said, even as he appealed that the event not be viewed with the prism of politics.

With this, the Gujarat government also expedites the programme to collect iron tools from farmers all across the country for Patel's 182-metre Statue of Unity being constructed at Kevadia Colony in Narmada.

"Sardar Saheb was Iron Man, and this imagery will be used to collect iron from 7 lakh villages across the country. Sardar Saheb was a farmer, so all farmers will be asked to contribute iron tools from their farming work that is now out of use. (Sardar) worked towards uniting the country. This work is being started today. By February, this work will be taken forward. Sardar's mantra of unity will be again revived," he said. Throughout the speech, Modi refrain from making comments on any political parties, keeping the event apolitical.

"This exercise is an effort to unite the people of the country. So please don't measure this pious effort with the yardstick of politics. This is a work of patriotism, to unite the country," he added.

Modi said the Statue of Unity will be a fitting tribute to the towering figure of unity in the country. "Sardar sahib was the source, inspiration, and embodiment of unity. That is why, to make this Statue of Unity, we have taken the mission to join all seven lakh villages of India ...When we remember Gandhiji, we remember truth, non-violence, sacrifice, simplicity, and Satyagraha. Similarly, Sardar Patel stands for unity, good governance and the farmer," he said.

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