Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today turned 69 and began the day with a visit to the statue of India’s leading freedom struggle hero Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada which is the lifeline of his home state of Gujarat.
Patel’s statue, called the Statue of Unity which is billed as the tallest in the world, was inaugurated by Modi on Patel's birth anniversary on October 31 last year. Patel and Modi belong to Gujarat.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among the first politicians to wish Modi on his birthday.
Mamata, who is likely to meet the Prime Minister tomorrow amidst speculations that the leaders would discuss administrative issues concerning West Bengal and certain issues relating to Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India next month, wrote on her Twitter handle, "Birthday greetings to Prime Minister @narendramodi ji."
On the political front, the Trinamool Congress chief is one of the fiercest critics of the BJP and Modi.
Earlier today, Modi reached Kevadiya to take part in an event being celebrated by the BJP government in Gujarat to mark the filling up of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river to its full reservoir height 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 on Sunday evening.
Modi, who would be addressing a gathering near the dam, 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 a nursery, an official said.
Modi is also expected to visit Dutt Mandir at nearby Garudeshwar village on the banks of Narmada.