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Protest against Sardar statue

Narendra Modi’s dream project has hit a hurdle in the steel city.

Social organisation Milan Welfare Charitable Trust has decided to stall construction of the Statue of Unity, which the Gujarat chief minister had conceived as a mark of honour to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

Around 90 members of the trust, which was established in April this year and functions out of a Congress party office in Dhatkidih, demonstrated in front of the district collectorate on Thursday.

They also submitted a memorandum to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, demanding a stay on the construction work of the statue.

“We have apprised the district authorities of our reservation against construction of the world’s tallest statue to honour Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. We don’t have anything against the great leader, but if the monument is constructed it would belittle the name of Mahatma Gandhi. This apart, the huge expense incurred (around Rs 2,500 crore) would have served the nation in a better way if spent on development projects for the needy,” said trust president Shahjad Khan.

On Monday, trust members will submit a copy of the memorandum to governor Syed Ahmed, chief minister Hemant Soren and chief secretary R.S. Sharma. The protesters have also planned to file a PIL with Jharkhand High Court if their plea before governor, chief minister and chief secretary does not yield the desired result.

The outfit’s president added that besides filing a PIL at Jharkhand High Court, they would also submit the memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, the trust members do not have any plans to meet Narendra Modi during his Ranchi rally on December 29 as of now.

The 182-metre statue will be twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty in New York and is being built by the Gujarat government as a tribute to the Iron Man of India. The Rs 2,500-crore monument will come up near Sardar Sarovar Bandh in Gujarat.

On completion, it will be the tallest statue in the world. At present, China’s 153-metre Spring Temple Buddha is the tallest in the world.