With rose petals and guns, India inaugurates world's tallest statue

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Prime Minister Modi will be going to give a tribute to the freedom movement icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary today. Police have denied the claims. However, this project was started by PM Modi five years ago, when he was a Chief Minister of Gujarat on 31st October 2013.

But the authorities took no chances in case community groups staged protests to condemn the decision to spend 29.9 billion rupees (S$560 million) - much of it public funds - to build the statue over almost four years.

"BJP and RSS leaders used to attack my government over the construction of Dalit memorials and statues, including of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, in Lucknow and Noida".

Blaming the BJP-led governments in Assam and at the centre for leaving out the names of 40 lakh people from the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), she alleged that the saffron party was practising a similar "politics of discrimination" in different parts of the country. He is also seen as an important figure in uniting the country, and is credited with convincing most of the individual states in the region to join India over Pakistan after the British left.

More than 80 percent of the local population are from tribal groups with special protected status.

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Security guards are seen behind barriers blocking the road leading to the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul . Cengiz also told the memorial that she wishes she had entered the consulate instead of her fiance.

Gandhi said Patel was a patriot, who fought for a independent, united and secular India.

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. But Modi-inspired nationalists have sought to put their hero back in the forefront. Its height is 182-metre and is 177 feet higher than China's Spring Temple Buddha. Even the outer layer of statue required over 1,700 tonnes of bronze.

Indian policemen gather next to the Statue of Unity. At 182 meters, it's even twice the height of the Statue of Liberty.

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.