first_imgAhead of the unveiling of Sardar Patel’s giant statue over the Narmada on October 31 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Gujarat government has flagged off Ekta Yatra, which would be taken out across the State to spread Sardar Patel’s message of unity.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday flagged off the Yatra at Bardoli, where Sardar Patel launched his ‘Satyagraha’ against the British. Launching the Yatra, seen as a soft launch of the BJP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Mr. Modi’s home State, Mr. Rupani said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken up Sardar Patel’s mantle and struggle on the world stage.Thin attendance “Sardar Patel united 562 States and became the sculptor of united India. The Ekta Yatra is also aimed at uniting all communities in the country, setting aside all differences on various fronts,” Mr. Rupani said at a thinly attended rally in a small town near Surat.The Yatra, in the run-up to the unveiling of the 182m tall statue — the world’s tallest — named Statue of Unity, is meant to connect with the masses and project the Congress as a party that cared only for one family while underplaying the contributions of other freedom movement leaders like Sardar Patel. During the Yatra, a prototype of the Statue of Unity is being carried through the length and breadth of the State, covering 5,000 villages through the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies.last_img