KOCHI: A delegation from Gujarat led by Social Welfare Minister Vasanbhai Aahir arrived here on Monday to invite leaders and people of Kerala to the unveiling of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue at Narmada on October 31. The delegation will proceed to Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, where it will meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor P Sathasivam.
Vallabhbhai’s Patel statue, named as the Statue of Unity, will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We know the important role played by freedom fighters for the formation of independent India. However, freedom fighters were not properly respected. When Narendra Modi came to power, he decided to initiate steps by which freedom fighters remain glorified. The Statue of Unity is one such initiative. The statue is the result of the contribution made by every state in India. We know Sardar Patel as a unifier of India, and it is on his birthday the statue will be unveiled,” Vasanbhai Aahir said.
He invited all citizens of the state to visit Gujarat and attend the unveiling ceremony.The delegation also held a meeting with the Gujarati community at Mattancherry and invited them for the same.The other members in the delegation include Deepsingh Rathod MP, Prabathsingh Chauhan MP; MLAs Shashikath Pandhya, Arvindbhai Patel, Ratansigh Rathod and Nareshbhai Patel; Keralite officers working in Gujarat including education secretary Vinod Rao and IG Manoj Shasidhar. The delegation will return on Wednesday from Thiruvananthapuram.
Vinod Rao said the statue will be highest in the world. The length of the statue is 182 m. The second highest statue is Buddha’s statue in China which is 153 m high. “The structure is constructed at an island near Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River,” he said. The foundation stone for the statue was laid in 2013. The construction of the statue was completed with a fund of `2,332 crore.