Davanagere (Karnataka), Feb 27 (IANS) With an eye on the upcoming assembly election in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel in Gujarat will be a tribute to the sweat and toil of millions of Indian farmers.
“The Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s statue (182m high), known as the Statue of Unity, being built on the river Narmada near Vadodara in Gujarat, is double the size of Statue of Liberty (93m) in New York,” Modi said addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally in this textile town, about 260km northwest of Bengaluru.
Metal pieces from farmers of six lakh villages across the country were collected and melted to make the Patel statue as the tallest in the world, Modi told thousands of farmers attending the rally.
The Prime Minister draped a green shawl, a symbol and common dress-code of the farming community in the state, during his 30-minute address.
The rally also marked the 75th birthday of the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa, who is also the party’s state president and Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga, about 300 km northwest of Bengaluru.
Modi also urged the farmers across the state to donate handful of rice to Yeddyurappa, in a similar way as collection of metal pieces for the tallest statue.
“I request all farmers in the state to donate a handful of rice, to contribute to the development of a new Karnataka, to Yeddyurappa during his tour across the state in March,” he said.
The foundation for the statue was laid in 2013 by Modi, who was then Gujarat Chief Minister.
The statue is being built by Indian infrastructure company Larsen and Toubro, which won the contract for construction and management for about Rs 3,000 crore in 2014.
The Union Budget for 2014-15 announced by the Modi-led central government had allotted Rs 200 crore for the project.