Days after PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue Of Unity, an ode to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat, the Shiv Sena has demanded that the Maharashtra government declare the proposed statue of Maratha king Shivaji as the tallest in the world. Sena said that Shivaji’s statue should be bigger than any other leader and all parties should come together for it.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party on Monday asked CM Devendra Fadnavis ‘not to be scared’ of PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and display the same courage that he did while announcing quota for the Maratha community. The Shiv Sena demanded that the CM should declare that the Chhatrapati Shivaji statue to be built in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast will be the world’s tallest.
The Sena in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said that decreasing the height of Shivaji’s statue to make Sardar Patel’s statue look taller is ‘narrow and distorted mindset’.
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Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, also said that there are now doubts being raised if there was an internal conspiracy to make Maratha warrior’s statue seem like a dwarf compared to the structure dedicated to Patel and reminded the saffron party about the then Union finance minister Chintamanrao Deshmukh in the Jawaharlal Nehru government, who had shown courage to tender his resignation, to ensure Mumbai stayed with Maharashtra, PTI reported.
On October 31, the 182-metre Statue of Unity was inaugurated in Gujarat’s Narmada district.
Responding to an RTI query, the government earlier said that certain height specifications of the proposed memorial have been changed to reduce the cost of the project. The height of the Maratha king’s statue would be reduced by 7.5 metres, although the sword he wields will be taller than in the original design. The government had said that the statue height has now been reduced to 75.7 metres from the earlier 83.2 metres. But in order to maintain the statue’s overall height of 121.2 metres, the length of the sword has been raised from 38 metres to 45.5 metres and the height of the pedestal to be been reduced to 87.4 metres from the earlier planned 96.2 metres.
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This change in the pedestal’s height will save Rs 338.94 crore, the Fadnavis government had said.
However, the government replied that these changes will not alter the total height of the statue, which would be 121.2 metres and the height of the entire structure would be 212 metres.
The Maharashtra government has made the stand clear that the memorial of warrior king will be the tallest. CM Devendra Fadnavis had asserted that Shivaji statue will be the tallest in the world after the Congress and the NCP had said in the state Assembly in July that the height of Shivaji’s statue was being reduced.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial Committee, Vinayak Mete, on Monday said the total height of the statue, including the pedestal, would be 212 metres. The BJP-backed MLC also said that the height of the statue and pedestal would be in the 60:40 ratio.