Chennai / New Delhi: On a visit to his home State, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 69 on today, offered prayers to goddess Narmada at the Sardar Sarovar dam.
Accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Modi offered prayers as part of the State government’s Namami Devi Narmade Mahotsav celebrations being held to mark the dam receiving water to its full capacity.
Modi also visited the Butterfly Garden in Kevadiya and named the saffron coloured plain tiger butterfly as the state butterfly. Modi began the day with a visit to the Statue of Unity and the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada.
The Statue of Unity, billed as the tallest in the world, was inaugurated by him on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary on October 31 last year.
He also tweeted a video of the statue, taken from his helicopter. Modi arrived at Kevadiya this morning to take part in the ‘Namami Narmada’ festival being celebrated by the Gujarat government to mark the filling up of the dam to its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres.
For the first time since the height of the dam was raised in 2017, the water level reached its highest peak at
138.68 metres on Sunday evening. Modi along with Rupani, then performed ‘puja’ at the dam site to ‘welcome’ the water of river Narmada, the lifeline of Gujarat.
The PM also visited various developmental projects being carried out near the dam and Statue of Unity to boost tourism. These projects include river rafting, a jungle safari park, a butterfly park and Ekta Nursery, an official said. Modi also visited the Khalvani Eco-Tourism site. In the safari, he apparently spotted deer. He also visited the Dutt Mandir at nearby Garudeshwar village on the banks of Narmada.
A galaxy of leaders cutting across party lines greeted Modi today. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said the nation is making steady progress under Modi’s able leadership.
Congress’ Twitter handle said, “Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi has extended her greetings to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on his Birthday. She wished him a healthy, happy and long life.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal greeted Modi on his 69th birthday and wished him a long and healthy life.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Birthday greetings to Prime Minister @narendramodi ji.”
BJP leaders greeted Modi on his 69th birthday and hailed him as a visionary leader and statesman. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Modi’s hardwork to make the lives of the countrymen easier was an inspiration.
JP Nadda, the national working president of the BJP, called the PM a ‘Karmayogi’ and said his dedication towards the ‘service of the nation’ was an inspiration.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed Modi’s ‘visionary leadership’ and said it has helped India scale new heights of glory. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also wished the PM on his birthday and hailed his dedication and commitment of building a ‘New India with the mantra of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “Please accept my heartiest greetings and best wishes on the joyous occasion of your birthday. May Almighty God bless you with good health and strength to serve our Nation and the people.”
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, “My Heartiest birthday greetings to revered Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji, who is a dynamic and dedicated leader. The Youth in India feel proud and inspired by his devoted service to our nation. May God bless him with a long life filled with joy and good health.”
DMK president M K Stalin said, ‘On behalf of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, I wish Hon’ble Prime Minister Thiru @narendramodi a very happy birthday and many more years of public service #happybirthdaynarendramodi.’ PMK founder S Ramadoss has also sent his greetings to Modi.
Posting a picture of Modi with his mother, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan tweeted, “Thank U mother for giving us a dynamic visionary leader, statesman who changed the face of india amidst world as architect of future india to bring smiles on every indian. Birthday greetings to our @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodi ji on behalf of people of Telangana & prayers for future.”