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Munda leads run for statue

Ranchi, Dec. 15: Senior BJP leader and former chief minister Arjun Munda today led the Run for Unity campaign in the state capital to mark the death anniversary of the nation’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Held simultaneously across the country, the run was part of the party’s drive to drum up support for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s pet project — a statue of Sardar Patel near Sardar Sarovar bandh in Gujarat. The proposed 182m statue, christened as “Statue of Unity”, it is claimed, will be the tallest in the world.

“Sardar Patel had helped unite different provinces and princely states after the end of the colonial rules. But, divisive politics and vested interests have undermined the national integrity over the years. We have taken a pledge to inculcate a sense of unity among the masses and this run, which received tremendous response all over the country, is a move in that direction,” Munda told The Telegraph.

Munda, who just returned to Jharkhand after taking part in the oath taking ceremonies in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where the BJP trounced the Congress in the recently concluded Assembly polls, said people across the country were desperately looking for a positive change in the national politics.

“I could feel it… people are expecting the BJP, especially its prime ministerial candidate Modi, to lead the change,” he added.

On preparations for Modi’s rally in Ranchi on December 29, Munda said the party had booked special trains for party supporters who would arrive from different parts of Jharkhand and neighbouring states. Also, various schools across the state have been requested to provide their buses to transport party supporters and workers on the day.

“It will be a historic rally and our preparations are going on in full swing,” the senior BJP leader added.

Commenting to the performance of the JMM-Congress coalition in the state, the former chief minister said the Hemant Soren government lacked the will to work for the commoners.

“The government tabled the second supplementary budget on the very first day of the winter session of the Assembly and will pass it tomorrow. It seems to be the only objective, even though there are several pressing issues that need immediate attention. I wouldn’t be surprised if the House is adjourned sine die after Monday,” he claimed.

Munda also questioned the recent cabinet decisions, mainly nullifying auction of riverbanks and providing financial assistance to madarsas.

“Who had stopped Hemant Soren from framing the rules before inviting bidders for sand ghats? He holds the mines and geology portfolio and could have taken the decision earlier also. And what did the government really mean by ‘agreeing in principle’ to give financial assistance to madarsas in the Santhal Pargana region?” asked Munda, underlining the present government’s “indecisiveness”.

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