The 182-metre structure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is touted as the world's tallest.
Indian workers carry on construction works at the 'Statue Of Unity, ' a monument dedicated to Indian independence leader Vallabhbhai Patel, at Kevadiya Colony in the vicinity of Narmada Dam, Aug. 25, 2018, from Ahmedabad in Gujarat state.
Mr. Modi said: "Sardar Patel worked with astonishing speed to dismantle the history of imperialism and create the geography of unity with the spirit of nationalism". At 597 feet, the statue, built at a cost of $430 million, is the tallest in the world, nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, the BBC reports. He had promised the project despite criticism that India couldn't afford it. Police guarded new posters put in their place.
"In order to build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of the soil and thus a mass movement developed", he said.
She said like Dalit leader Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Sardar Patel was also a nationalist and was widely respected.
In the national capital, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a host of dignitaries offered floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.More news: Patriots miss out on Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate on trade market
More news: Meghan Markle Stunned As She Spots An Old Friend In The Crowd
More news: Victims of Pittsburgh shooting identified
Some political commentators have criticised Modi for his expenditure on the statue complex at a time when the adivasi indigenous people who farm the land acquired for it are in economic straits and have protested against it. The BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have time and again spoken on how the Congress did not give Sadar Patel the credit and recognition he deserved.
With military aircraft scattering flower petals on the statue from the skies, Mr Modi paid tribute to Patel and the occasion, in what was effectively the unofficial launch of his campaign for re-election next year.
More than 80% of the local population are from tribal groups with special protected status.
- Statue's surface (skin) has 553 bronze panels - each panel has 10-15 micro panels - made at a Chinese foundry, as there was no facility available in India to make panels of this scale.
The Guardian reports officials in Gujarat state are anxious that community groups could stage protests during the opening ceremony on October 31 to demand compensation for land taken to erect the Statue of Unity.
India is also working on a giant statue of 17th century warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, riding a horse and brandishing a sword, which should dominate the Mumbai shoreline from 2021. The current design would make it 212 metres high.