World's tallest statue in tribute to Sardar Vallabbhai Patel unveiled in India

World's tallest statue in tribute to Sardar Vallabbhai Patel unveiled in India

World's tallest statue in tribute to Sardar Vallabbhai Patel unveiled in India

He is to pay tribute at the foot of the statue of Sardar. All around him, the landscape is dotted and shaped by the marks of independent India's progress - roads, towers, and a dam.

"The Statue of Unity" project was announced by Modi back in 2010 when he was still the chief minister for the state of Gujarat.

It was Modi who inaugurated the statue Wednesday morning.

The BJP says Congress has deliberately ignored leaders such as Patel, B.R. Ambedkar, who led the drafting of the constitution, and freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose.

She accused the Bharatiya Janata Party and its government at the Centre of confining Patel to a region, saying this is an example of BJP's "narrow-mindedness".

Standing on the banks of the Narmada River on Wednesday as Indian air force pilots dropped flower petals on Patel's imposing figure, Modi said the statue would serve as a beacon of hope for India and "keep on reminding the whole world" about Patel's courage. The state government allocated funds for the project, estimated to cost over $410 million, although monetary support was also provided by the federal government and public donations were requested by the committee overseeing the construction.

But not everyone is impressed. Mr Modi had laid the foundation stone of the project on 31st October 2013 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

He said that those making a living off the land lack even the most basic irrigation. In the inauguration speech, PM Modi said that the statue will be a reminder to the nation of Sardar Patel's courage to thwart conspiracies to disintegrate India.

"The systematic destruction of India's institutions is nothing short of treason".

PM Modi said, "The 31st of October is the birth anniversary of our beloved Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel".

In the national capital, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a host of dignitaries offered floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary. Praising great icons has also brought us criticism.

"I am amazed when some people of our own country dare to see this initiative from a political view and criticise us as if we have committed a huge crime".

The Gujarat government expects the statue to boost tourism, with one estimate putting the daily numbers at 15,000.

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

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