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With rose petals and guns, India inaugurates world's tallest statue

With rose petals and guns, India inaugurates world's tallest statue

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 182-metre high statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, BSP chief Mayawati sought an apology from the BJP for its comments in the past against installation of statues of Dalit icons.

India has just unveiled the world's tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, standing 597 feet, which makes it nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

After unveiling the 182-metre structure in his home state of Gujarat on Patel's 143rd birth anniversary, Modi addressed the criticism of the decision to build the monument, questioning whether any crime had been committed by constructing such memorials for national heroes like Patel.

Patel was known as the "Iron Man of India" for integrating various states in the post-independence era as the creation of Pakistan led to a massive bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims moving between the two nations. The imposing monument is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat's Narmada district.

However, many have criticised the project for being a waste of money and some political parties have argued the expenditure for the statue should have gone towards other priorities like women's safety, education and agricultural schemes.

Modi, whose nationalist government has made the statue one of its flagship projects, paid tribute while the air force jets roared overhead and dance troupes performed. Around 3,000 workers and 250 engineers worked together to create this statue.

India prepares to inaugurate the world's tallest statue
World's Tallest Statue Is Quite Staggering – Double The Size Of The Statue Of Liberty [Images]

Anand Mazgaonkar, a community group leader in Narmada district, said plain clothes police took away 12 people late Tuesday to the local police headquarters.

In the largely tribal town of Dediapada, roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the statue, villagers shuttered shops and closed the main market for the day in protest. Thus, the statue has been named "Statue of Unity" as a tribute to his role.

He said Patel was a Congress leader and BJP should not be allowed to adopt him.

The government is expected that the new tourist spot will attract almost 15,000 visitors on a daily basis.

The exterior of statue is coated with 1,850 tonne of bronze.

The statue is more than twice the size of New York's Statue of Liberty. The current design would make it 212 metres high.

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