Thousands run for Sardar Patel's statue

Vadodara/ New Delhi, Dec 15 : As thousands ran across the country to support the proposed 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said the run should not be seen politically.

"This run is being organised with a determination to unite the people, unite the villages and unite the nation," Modi said, adding that it was about "patriotism".

"This is an effort to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of all Indians. Please do not view it from the prism of politics," he said.

According to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the run was held simultaneously at 1,100 places across the country on the occasion of 63rd death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The 182-metre tall "statue of unity" is proposed to be built facing the Narmada dam in Gujarat.

In Delhi, the run was flagged off by party president Rajnath Singh who called upon the youth to rise for the nation.

"The youth of India needs to awaken and rise... no power in the world would dare to face us, that is the power of our youth," Singh said at the BJP's Delhi office before flagging off the race.

The run will also start a campaign for collection of iron from all over the country for the statue.

--IANS (Posted on 15-12-2013)

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