Cricket stars join PM Modi for new Varanasi stadium stone laying ceremony 

Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, other cricket players like Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Dilip Vengsarkar were also invited to the stone-laying ceremony in Varanasi.
PM Narendra Modi with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BCCI president Roger Binny and Sachin Tendulkar in Varanasi on Saturday| pti
PM Narendra Modi with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BCCI president Roger Binny and Sachin Tendulkar in Varanasi on Saturday| pti

LUCKNOW:Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the event to mark the stone laying ceremony of international cricket stadium in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He also inaugurated 16 Atal Residential Schools (ARS) for deprived and orphaned children.

PM Modi spoke about the women’s reservation bill. He said the new bill will give a new energy, direction and impetus to women-led development in the country.The PM credited ‘women power’ for the passage of the Bill, renamed as ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.’

While addressing a gathering of women during his 42nd visit to Kashi during the last nine years, the PM acknowledged the power of women’s leadership. “The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, pending for three decades, has become a reality today. Political parties once opposed to it supported it in both Houses of Parliament,” Modi said.

He took a veiled jibe on those parties that opposed the renaming of the bill. “Certain quarters have objected to the word ‘vandan’ in the bill. Who would be respected and worshipped if our mothers and daughters would not be?” asked the PM.

The PM was given a rousing welcome, especially by women who showered flower petals on him as a gesture of gratitude for the passage of the women’s quota bill. Addressing the gathering at the grounds of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Kashi, the first one after the passage of the bill, the PM said approval for the Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill by Parliament was just another step in the acknowledgment of women’s power.

“Leadership by women could be a modern idea for the rest of the world, but we have been recognising it for ages by worshipping goddesses Parvati and Ganga before Mahadev,” he said. Accompanied by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, the PM recounted the valour of Rani Lakshmibai and Ahilyabai Holkar. “From Rani Lakshmi Bai and her freedom struggle to the accomplishment of Mission Chandrayaan in modern India -- we have proved the power of women’s leadership,” said the PM.

“Kashi is the holy city of Mother Kushmanda, Mother Shringar Gauri, Mother Annapurna and Mother Ganga. The glory of their power is attached to every part of this place. That’s why after the passage of Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, I came to Kashi first to seek your blessings,” he said.

PM Modi flanked by UP CM Yogi Adityanath and veteran cricketing stars including Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) chairman Roger Binny, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Madanlal, Karsan Ghavri, BCCI secretary Jai Shah and vice-chairman Rajeev Shukla, pressed the button to lay the foundation of the International Cricket Stadium worth Rs 451 crore.

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The New Indian Express