On the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the statue of the leader which is the world's tallest at 182 metres.
Iron was procured from around the country to commemorate the 'Iron Man of India'. The statue is situated in Gujarat, 3.2 km downstream the Narmada Dam.
The Rs 2,989 crore statue was commissioned in 2013 when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. It was designed by Padma Bhushan winning sculptor Ram V Sutar.
Tribal communities have called for a boycott of the function, saying that the project has destroyed the natural resources of the region. The Communist Party of India has criticised the government for splurging money on the statue.
PM Modi thanks tribals, farmaers and villagers for their help
"The contribution of the tribals, farmers and villagers, who helped make this possible cannot be ignored, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Without your help and contribution, this would not be possible today. With the Statue of Unity, you (tribals and farmers) have enshrined your names in history too," PM Modi said.
He made these comments amid calls for boycotting the function by tribals for damaging the natural resources in the vicinity. In an open letter to the PM, the tribvals living around the Narmada River said that they wouldn't welcome him to Kevadiya.
Statue of Unity is a symbol that 'Ek Bharat is Shreshth Bharat': PM Modi
Here are some points PM Modi made in his speech, as reported by NDTV.
"Sardar Patel was made the Home Minister of India at the country's most difficult period. No one can imagine how he managed to keep India from disintegrating after partition. The greatness of his deeds cannot be put in words. Each and every one of us owe it to this man for what he has done for the country."
"Statue of Unity is a symbol of India's integrity, India's resolve, India's determination and India's unity... It shows that India was, is and always will be eternal."
"It is a symbol that 'Ek Bharat is Shreshth Bharat'."
Patel had said infighting was the reason for India's subordination by foreign powers: PM Modi
"Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had said infighting was the reason for India's subordination by foreign powers; never again will India make the same mistake and never will India again be enslaved," says PM Modi.
#SardarVallabhbhaiPatel had said infighting was the reason for India's subordination by foreign powers; never again will India make the same mistake and never will India again be enslaved: PM @narendramodi #RashtriyaEktaDiwas #NationalUnityDay #StatueOfUnity pic.twitter.com/cXH7exppll— PIB India (@PIB_India) October 31, 2018
PM Modi recieves the first hammer collected for the building of the statue
[WATCH] 'Indians would have to take visa to see the Gir lions,' says PM Modi
"If it was not for Sardar Sahab's resolve, then we Indians would have to take visa to see the Gir lions, pray at Somnath, or to see Hyderabad's Charminar" says PM Modi
PM Modi thanks farmers for helping build the statue
In his speech, PM Modi thanked the farmers who gave their tools and soil to help build the tallest statue in the world, He said, "In order to build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of the soil and thus, a mass movement developed."
TN ministers join PM Modi for Statue of Unity inauguration
Tamil Nadu Ministers Kadambur Raju and Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan are present at Gujarat's Kevadiya for the statue of Unity inauguration.
The statue was built in India
The iron required to build the Statue of Unity was procured from across the country. It was built by Larsen and Tourbo and the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam and was assembled by over 4,000 labourers.
Inauguration of Statue of Unity [WATCH]
PM Modi inaugurates the tallest statue in the world
In his inaugural speech, the prime minister dedicated the state to the nation. He also said, "Today is a historic day for India... I want to start by congratulating all Indians including those settled abroad."
"Events like today are very very important in a country's history and such events are difficult to erase. It is a historic and inspiring occasion for all Indians. I am fortunate to dedicate this statue of Sardar Sahab to the nation," PM Modi was quoted by ANI.
PM Modi arrives at the venue
Prime Minister Modi has arrived at the venue to inaugurate the world's tallest staue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The Statue of Unity is said to be twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It stands at 600 feet over the ground.
Amit Shah arrives at inauguration function in Kevadiya
Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani & Deputy CM Nitin Patel, and Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel at inauguration of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's Statue of Unity, according to ANI.
Environmental activists condemns building of Statue of Unity
"I am sure Sardar Patel would never have approved of such wasteful expenditure. A trust was formed to oversee the construction of the statue, but it appears as if the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam is now the nodal agency. The SSNNL's job is to provide Narmada water to Gujarat's farmers, not the construction of a statue of Sardar Patel," Environmental scientist and activist Mahesh Pandya was quoted by News18.
PM Modi at Valley of Flowers in Kevadia
Run for Unity marathons held across the country
Run for Unity marathons are held across the country to commemorate Patels 143rd birth anniversary. Home Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off the event in Delhi while Defense Minister Nirmala Sitaraman inaugurated the event in Chennai.
Modi to inaugurate the Statue of Unity soon
During the inauguration, PM Modi will pour soil and some Narmada river water a report by NDTV states.
BJP president Amit Shah will be joining the celebrations soon.
CPI has criticised the BJP govt for building the statue
The Communist Party of India called out the BJP government for 'splurging' on the statue when there were farmers on the verge of committing suicide due to their mounting debts.
Local tribes have called for a boycott
Local tribes have called for a boycott of the inauguration function citing natural resources have been destroyed during the building of the statue.
According to News18, 22 villages near the Narmada river wrote an open letter to the prime minister telling that they would not welcome Modi when he arrives. They said, " We villagers want to tell you with extreme grief that we will not welcome you on October 31. Even if you come here like an unwanted guest, you are not welcome here."
The Statue of Unity will have a museum at the base
The Statue of Unity will have a museum at the base which will consist of at least 40,000 documents and 2000 photographs dedicated to Patel.
The museum will also have high powered elevators which will transport visitors to the viewing gallery.
Sudarsan Patnaik has commemorated Patel's birth anniversary with sand art
Sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik has made a sand sculpture of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Puri Beach to commemorate the Iron Man of India's 143rd birth anniversary.
In his tweet, he congratulated the team which was responsible for building the Statue of Unity.
Inaugural function begins at Kevadiya, Gujarat
The inaugural function of the Sardar Patel statue is underway in Kevadiya, Gujarat on Patel's 143rd death anniversary, which is also known as Rashtriya Ekta Divas.
President, Vice President, Home Minister pay floral tribute to Patel
President Ramnath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid floral tribute to the former deputy prime minister of India. A function was held at Patel Chowk in Delhi.