Fortunate to dedicate Sardar Patel's statue to nation, says PM Modi

Fortunate to dedicate Sardar Patel's statue to nation, says PM Modi

Set against the backdrop of the scenic Sardar Sarovar Dam, the statue is perched on top of the small river island of Sadhu Bet, situated only 3.2km from the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Dalit leader and Independent lawmaker, Jignesh Mevani lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter, after the mega inauguration of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's statue on Wednesday in Gujarat's Kevadiya.

The Rs 2,389 crore monument is a tribute to Patel who played a major role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.

Ahead of the unveiling of the statue, 22 representatives from villages in the Gujarat district have written an open letter to Prime Minister Modi saying he won't be welcomed for the unveiling of the statue.

Air Force planes showered flowers on the statue, which was designed by decorated Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar.

Meanwhile, local tribal leaders have announced a boycott of Wednesday's event claiming "mass destruction" of natural resources due to the project. To construct the statue, Modi government has spent a whopping $408 million to showcase a growing Hindu political base in India.

Dubbed the Statue of Unity, the vast bronze statue is about twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and has far surpassed the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which, at 128 metres, was the previous...

According to local media reports, at least 16 tribal leaders were detained on the eve of the inauguration.

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"Had Sardar not unified India, we would need visa to see lions or visit the holy shrine at Somnath or view Charminar in Hyderabad".

The Statue of Unity will be able to withstand wind speeds of up to 180 km and also an quake of up to 6.5 in richter scale.

Chaterjee said Modi's "own image is modeled on Patel's: A man of action, a forceful administrator, and a close friend of big business".

Modi's top ministers led rallies in support of the statue in multiple other cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi.

On Monday, rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela said the Statue of Unity project was a "marketing gimmick", and asked Modi to first unite the CBI and the RBI.

The construction work has taken almost four years to complete the mega project.

Indian officials are anxious that community groups could stage protests to demand compensation for land taken to erect the Statue of Unity.

- Statue's surface (skin) has 553 bronze panels - each panel has 10-15 micro panels - made at a Chinese foundry, as there was no facility available in India to make panels of this scale.

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