Marathon to drum up support for Patel statue

A marathon, ‘Run for Unity,’ will be held across the country including 28 places in the State on December 15, as part of the campaign to construct ‘Statue of Unity,’ a monument in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabhbhai Patel said the marathon would be held at 565 places across the country on December 15, the death anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel.

Saurabhbhai Patel is in the State along with a delegation from Gujarat to promote the construction of the monument. The proposed 182-metre tall statue will be erected in the middle of the Narmada riverbed facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam. He said that around 15 lakh people were likely to take part in the run.

In Karnataka, the run will be held at Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Mysore, Gulbarga, Mangalore, Belgaum, Davangere, Bellary, Bijapur, Shimoga, Tumkur, Raichur, Bidar, Hospet, Gadag-Betigeri, Robertsonpet, Hassan, Bhadravathi, Chitradurga, Udupi, Kolar, Mandya, Chikmagalur, Gangavathi, Bagalkote, Ranibennur, Ramanagara and Doddaballapur. The run will be held under the aegis of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust headed by Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, he said.

Besides, the trust will also launch a campaign to collect farming iron tools from over six lakh villages in the country, including all the villages in Karnataka. The tools will be smelted and used as raw material in the construction of the statue. In the days to come, the trust will organise essay competitions on the topic of unity in all the high schools in rural areas. The trust will also collect soil samples from villages which will be kept in a museum, constructed as part of the statue.

Patel said that the Gujarat government proposes to set up an agriculture research centre and an university near the statue venue.

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