PM Modi to Unveil Statue of Unity on 31 Oct, Locals to Protest
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Statue of Unity, a monument dedicated to freedom fighter Sardar Patel, on Wednesday, 31 October. The statue, touted as the world’s tallest, was built near the Narmada Dam in the PM’s home state in 33 months.
Gujarat Chief Secretary JN Singh on Monday visited the site to take stock of ongoing preparations. “We have invited dance troupes from across the country to perform here during the inauguration. Air Force planes and helicopters will shower flowers on the statue during the unveiling. I am here today to see how we can synchronize them,” Singh told reporters.
This is all one side but in the other hand, local tribal leaders nearly 22 villages situated near the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Monday have announced they will boycott the event, citing destruction of natural resources due to construction and wrote an open letter to PM Modi, saying that villagers will not welcome him at the inauguration of the Statue of Unity on 31 October.
“These forests, rivers, waterfalls, land, and agriculture supported us for generations. We survived on them. But, everything is being destroyed now, and celebrations are also planned. Don’t you think it’s akin to celebrating someone’s death? We feel so,” the letter signed by sarpanch of 22 villages said.
“We all villagers want to tell you with extreme grief that we will not welcome you on 31 October. Even if you come here like an unwanted guest, you are not welcome here.”
Tribal leaders, in a letter to PM Modi”If Sardar Patel could see the mass destruction of natural resources and injustice have done to us, he would cry. When we are raising our issues, we are persecuted by the police. Why you are not ready to listen to our plight?”
The leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and demanded that the Narmada project should be declared as a national project to give a “fitting tribute” to Sardar Patel.
Former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela also attacked PM Modi, saying that the statue is just a “marketing tool” for the BJP.