Modi ministers on iron hunt for giant Sardar Patel statue

Modi ministers on iron hunt  for giant Sardar Patel statue

Even as Gujarat ministers embark on trips across the country to collect iron for the world’s tallest statue –the Statue of Unity—it has been planning for months, the idea is to drum up support for the BJP prime ministerial candidate at least indirectly.

Narendra Modi’s ministers have been travelling far and wide, from Bihar to Punjab to Odisha, in search of iron to put up the statue in the middle of the Narmada river.

The endeavour follows Modi’s announcement of a huge government programme to collect scrap iron from across the country as he laid the foundation stone for the Sardar Patel statue in Kevadiya colony on the Iron Man’s birthday.

The target is to collect 700 tonnes of iron from five lakh villages. The designer boxes made for the purpose display the slogan: ``Sardar ne desh ko ek banaya, hum desh ko shresth banayenge.”
Besides sending senior ministers and bureaucrats to different parts of the country, IAS and IPS officers have been asked to visit their parent states for the mission. On Tuesday, senior minister of the Modi government and its spokesman Nitin Patel was in Lucknow along with a battery of IAS and IPS officers for iron collection.

“It is the message of Sardar which is being spread around to generate awareness amongst people across the country,” Patel said.

This follows the visit to Chandigarh by another senior minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama for the same purpose.

“It’s a mission meant for the Iron man of the country. It’s not just Gujarat’s initiative but the country as a whole,’’ commented Nitin Patel said.

Not stopping with this, the Modi government has also organised a two-kilometre unity marathon on Sunday, followed by picture exhibitions and essay competition on the Iron Man theme. Observers say that the events are timed up to the Lok Sabha elections in order to turn Modi’s message into virtual election campaign.

The 182 metre statue of Sardar Patel, after completion, will be the world’s tallest. The pre bid process for the project is over and final tendering is expected to close on January 23.

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