A train load of Apna Dal people reaching Guj to see unveiling of Statue of Unity
Lucknow, Oct 29 (PTI) With Apna Dal (S) claiming its "lineage" with that of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the party chief Anupriya Patel is taking a train load of her party's core constituents to witness the unveiling of the Iron Man's statue, the world's tallest, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat on Wednesday.
Party chief Patel has booked an entire train, nicknamed 'Unity Train', to take people to Gujarat to witness the unveiling of the 182-metre high "Statute of Unity," party spokesperson Arvind Sharma Monday.
Patel would be flagging off the train from Varanasi Tuesday and travel in it with the people till Mirzapur, he said.
The people from all districts of Uttar Pradesh would take the train to reach Gujarat and participate in the historic event of unveiling of the statue near Sardar Sarvor dam in Narmada district by Prime Minister Modi, he added.
Explaining the significance of the event for his party, Sharma said, "The Apna Dal (S) core constituents belong to Kurmi community and share their lineage with that of Sardar Patel. Our leader Anupriya Patel, who works for the progress of the backward communities, herself belongs to the Kurmi caste."
"Sardar Patel was not only a national hero, but he was one from amongst us. We share our ancestral origin and socio-historical background with him," he said.
"October 31 is a very important day for all of us as it is his birthday. As the first Union home minister, he united the country. We want people to connect with the event and witness it.
"The special train will carry people from all districts of the state and all sections of the society, including farmers, social workers and women," he said.
Starting from Varanasi, the train will pass through Mirzapur, Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Raebareli, Lucknow, Kanpur, Orai and Jhansi to reach Gujarat, he said.
The statute's height was decided to be 182 metre to match the numbers of assembly segments in Gujarat. It is almost double the 93-metre-high Statute of Liberty standing off the New York City coast and four times the Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
Built near Sardar Sarovar Dam in tribal-dominated Narmada district, over 200 kilometres from Ahmedabad, the statue has been built with 25,000 tonnes of iron and 90,000 tonnes of cement and is visible from a 7-km radius.
Appreciating Patel's initiative to take her party men to witness the event, BJP spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said his party had collected iron, soil and water from across the country to build the statue as per Prime Minister Modi's decision taken during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister in 2013.
He said the statue's venue will soon become a tourist spot with the Gujarat government promising world class facilities besides a tribal museum, gardens and boating facilities in the area.