Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the Central government’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir last month was inspired by Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s vision. He was addressing a public rally in Kevadia Gujarat on the occasion of his birthday.

Modi lauded the vision of former Home Minister Sardar Patel, and said that his government’s attempt is to find a solution to a decades-old problem. The Centre on August 5 abrogated Article 370, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and proposed the bifurcation of the state in two union territories.

PM also said that the Hyderabad Liberation Day, also observed on September 17 each year, was the result of Sardar Patel’s vision. It marks the day in 1948 when the erstwhile Hyderabad state was annexed to the Indian Union.

Modi also shared his happiness on the rising popularity of the Statue of Unity. “The 133-year-old Statue of Liberty gets around 10,000 visitors per day, about 8,500 people visit the 11-month-old Statue of Unity daily”, he said.

The Sardar Sarovar project is catering to needs of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and has benefitted people in these four states, PM said. Modi added that Sardar Patel’s dream is coming true now as the Sardar Sarovar dam is generating power.

Modi also urged the nation to take steps to protect the environment. He said: “Growth with sustainability is the need of the hour. Nature is dear to us, it is our jewel.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, turns 69 today and he is celebrating his birthday at his home state Gujarat. PM Modi visited the site of the Gujarat’s Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river whose water level has reached its highest mark for the first time to celebrate the feat and kick off “Namami Narmade” festival. He also offered prayers there. Earlier, he visited the Butterfly Garden in Kevadiya and named the saffron-coloured plain tiger butterfly as the state butterfly.