BSP defends Ambedkar parks as PM unveils Statue of Unity

India prepares to inaugurate the world's tallest statue

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed all those criticising the government's decision to build the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel after inaugurating the 182-metre tall monument at Kevadiya in Gujarat on Wednesday. At 597 feet, the statue, built at a cost of $430 million, is the tallest in the world, nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, the BBC reports.

The statue was unveiled on the occasion of the fourth Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day), which is observed every year on the birthday of freedom fighter and India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

"The people of the country are also wondering if all this is not politics, and if the BJP really had this love for Patel why had they not put up such a massive statue earlier in Gujarat where they are in power for a long time", the chief of BSP said.

- Developed on the banks of River Narmada on Sadhu Bet - 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam, visitors can have a view of 200 km of the Dam and the Satpura and Vindhya Mountain ranges from a viewing platform at the level of the statue's chest.

Later Modi unveiled the Wall of Unity in the backdrop of fly past of Jaguar aircrafts and showering rose petals on Statue of Unity by Mi-17 choppers of Indian Air Force.

Addressing a function at the district Congress committee office here, the Congress leader said there was no such enormous statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the country.

Farmers in the state of Gujarat were reportedly bemused that millions of dollars were spent on the flagship project.




He was also the India's first home minister after it gained its independence. It also dwarfs the world's next-tallest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which is 128 meters tall.

The Patel statue was built to withstand 180km/h winds and earthquakes of up to magnitude 6.5.

"Tomorrow, on the Jayanti of Sardar Patel, the "Statue of Unity" will be dedicated to the nation". After he became prime minister in 2014, he pledged to complete it despite some critics balking at the almost $403 million price tag, which they said could be better spent on welfare programs for India's poor.

The project is facing opposition from local villagers in the region and from rival political parties.

The imposing 182-metre statue of unity is believed to be the tallest in the world.

The proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial, expected to be wrapped up in 2021, will stand at 212 metres.

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