Ahmedabad: Gujarat Governor Dr Kamla
on Wednesday praised Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts in
popularising the Kite Festival, saying his personal interest
has made the programme "spectacular and impressive".
While flagging off the 22nd International Kite
Festival along with Modi at the Sabarmati Riverfront here
today, the Governor said, "Makar Sankranti has a unique place
in Gujarat`s tradition, more particularly for Ahmedabad city.
The festival, in social terms, has become a symbol of unity
"The programme (Kite festival) has been grand and
spectacular. People have applauded it. For the awareness it
has generated and the environment it has created, the efforts
of the chief minister and his colleagues need to be
appreciated," Dr Kamla said in her address.
"I would like to wish all the people of Gujarat a
happy Makar Sankranti, especially the chief minister, who
takes personal interest in all these programmes and because of
which, they become so spectacular and impressive," she added.
The statement assumes significance in the backdrop
of the stand-off between the Modi-government and the Governor
over the appointment of the state Lokayukta by the latter.
The state government had approached the Gujarat High
Court opposing the Governor`s decision of appointing retired
Justice R A Mehta as the state Lokayukta. The matter is still
Modi had even written to the Prime Minister last
September demanding Dr Kamla be recalled from the state. He
had alleged that she had acted in an unconstitutional manner
in appointing the Lokayukta without the aide and advice of the
council of ministers of the state government.
Talking about the Kite festival further, the Governor
said, "In real sense, the festival highlights the glorious
cultural traditions of Gujarat."
According to a report, Ahmedabad Kite festival was
among the top five most popular Kite festivals in the world
out of the two dozen such festivals, she added.
Modi too thanked the Governor for her presence and
wishes for the Kite festival in his speech.
He said that the Ahmedabad Kite festival has now found
its place in the international festivals of the world.
Gujarat Tourism minister Jaynarayan Vyas, in his
welcome address, said that the festival will launch Gujarat on
the tourism map of India.
Vyas said that the festival has gone beyond being a
tourism event. "The festival has given a boost to the kite
manufacturing industry in Gujarat, which employs over six
"A survey in 2007 had estimated the kite manufacturing
industry in Gujarat to be worth Rs 100 crore. If extrapolation
is done on that figure, today the industry would around Rs 175
crore giving employment to thirty thousand people in Ahmedabad
alone," Vyas said.
As many as 300 kite fliers would participate in the
three-day festival, including 81 kite fliers from 24
countries, 120 from nine state of the country and local fliers
from different parts of the Gujarat.