New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday allocated Rs 200 crore in the Union Budget 2014 for a giant statue of late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in PM Narendra Modi’s home turf Gujarat.
The amount has got raised eyebrows, as it is more than the budget set aside for women’s safety – Rs 150 crore.
The Modi government is being questioned over priorities at a time when the country is reeling under inflation and trying to revive a sluggish economy.
India is struggling to secure its women after the spurt in number of rape and sexual molestation cases.
During his budget speech Jaitley said, “The Gujarat government has embarked upon the mission to build the largest statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. Sardar Patel stands as the symbol of the unity of the country. To support the Gujarat government in this initiative to erect the statue of unity, I propose to set aside a sum of Rs 200 crore.”
During his stint as Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi had laid the foundation stone of the statue in October 2013 on the 138th birth anniversary of the first Home Minister of the country, who was also known as the 'Iron Man'.
It is said that after completion of the project, it will be the tallest statue of the world. The monument is being built on a public-private partnership model, with most of the money raised through public contribution and Gujarat government has already allocated Rs 100 crore for the project.
The total height of the statue from its base is planned to be 240 metre consisting base level of 58 metre and statue of 182 metre.
On the other hand the amount allocated for the statue is more than the amount allocated for women’s safety in India, which is just Rs 150 crore.
Mr Modi had said last year, "Had Sardar Patel been the first prime minister, the country's fate and face would have been completely different."...