Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION -

Men at Work

also visit the Statue of Unity,” said Gu­jarat chief min­is­ter Vi­jay Ru­pani.

The first step to­wards con­nect­ing the en­tire na­tion with the statue was the Loha (iron) cam­paign, in which an agri­cul­tural tool each was col­lected from around 700,000 vil­lages across In­dia, melted and used. In all, 135 tonnes of iron was do­nated by farm­ers to sup­port the project, for which Modi’s slo­gan was Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat (One In­dia, Noble In­dia).

A Shrestha Bharat Cen­tre is tak­ing shape at the feet of the statue, which will also house a re­search­fa­cil­ity for agri­cul­ture and tribal de­vel­op­ment.

A 52-room, 3-star ho­tel, au­di­to­rium, galleries with light and sound shows and a mu­seum on the life and times of Sar­dar Pa­tel have been i ncor­po­rated i n the project.

“It will soon be­come syn­ony­mous with In­dia. Not only do we plan to hold na­tional and in­ter­na­tional sum­mits there, but a spe­cial area in the vicin­ity will also be there for other states to have their own bha­vans (homes),’’ said Singh.

Modi tried to un­der­line its im­por­tance at the foun­da­tion­lay­ing cer­e­mony. “The world should know Sar­dar saab’s im­mense con­tri­bu­tion in build­ing In­dia,” he said. Naren­dra Modi has built other big projects in his home state.

“We should know out his­tory to get in­spired...we built Shaymji Kr­ishna Verma memo­rial in Kutch, state-of-the-art con­ven­tion cen­tre, Ma­hatma Mandir in Gand­hi­na­gar, and re­vived tourism on in Bud­dha cir­cuit,” he has re­marked, main­tain­ing, “Gandhi and Sar­dar did not be­long to the BJP. They had no prob­lem when I built Ma­hatma Mandir.

But they (op­po­nents) do not like me to build a Sar­dar memo­rial. His legacy can­not be di­vided. It is ours.”

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