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Indian policemen gather next to the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya colony in Gujarat state, India, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018.

The statue is part of Modi's poll promise which helped the BJP come to power in 2014 by defeating the Congress. The region has a history of activism against several other projects, such as a planned series of dams on the Narmada river.

"No Indian will ever forget this day", said Mr Modi, who hailed Sardar Patel's "strategic thinking" in bringing together the disparate country after independence in 1947 and the Statue of Unity as "a symbol of our engineering and technical prowess".

In Firstpost, Manjul has his take on the Statue of Unit celebrating Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The statue can withstand heavy winds of up to 130 km per hour and earthquakes up to 6.5 on Richter scale. The gallery can accommodate 200 visitors at one go and also offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

Local legislator Chotu Vasava said: "Tribal groups have been exploited by different governments, the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is repeating it again".

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Modi also linked Infantry Day - observed in commemoration of the first victorious military action led by the Infantry in Jammu and Kashmir after Independence to drive out Pakistani invaders - to Patel. "The country, which is moving towards becoming the world's greatest economic and strategic power, is following the path shown by Sardar Patel", Modi said.

"In a nutshell, the project is an individual's ego and Modi's whim".

It is almost twice as tall as New York's Statue of Liberty.

"Patel formulated solutions one by one, weaving the warp and weft of unity on the axis of a single thread. It will be a place to visit for those nostalgic about the freedom struggle". Laid end to end, the statue's pieces would stretch over a quarter of the way around the world. Surpassing the workforce scale of most high-end structures around the world, at the peak of construction, 2,500 workers including several hundred Chinese labourers were working around the clock to install the 5,000 squares of bronze cladding on the façade of the statue.

Jiangxi Tongqing Metal Handicrafts, a foundry in southeastern China, was tasked with the bronze panelling of Patel's statue. Referring to the "statue of unity", the PM said that Indians will be able to feel proud at the world's largest statue being built in India. Dedicated to a famous Indian warrior, Shivaji, will reach a height of 212 metres.


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