The CPI on Tuesday flayed the Narendra Modi government for "splurging" nearly Rs 3,000 crore on building Sardar Patel's gigantic statue at a time when debt-ridden farmers are "being driven to suicide" and millions of people are defecating in the open for want of sanitation facilities.
The 182 m Statue of Unity, touted as the world's tallest, is slated to be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat on Wednesday. CPI national secretary Binoy Viswam claimed that 75,000 adivasi families living near the Sardar Sarovar dam had been rendered homeless to facilitate the construction of the mammoth structure.
"While unveiling the structure amid trademark fanfare, the prime minister would do well to take note of the fact that residents of 12 villages situated along the dam have decided not to cook food in their kitchen in protest against the government's high-handedness that was on display while executing the project", he alleged at a press conference here.
"While touting the statue as the tallest in the world he (the prime minister) must also explain the logic behind splurging Rs 2979 crore on a single project at a time when agrarian distress is driving farmers to suicide", the Rajya Sabha MP said.
The statue, he said, is an insult to Sardar Patel as he would have never agreed to the displacement of 75,000 adivasi families to facilitate the construction of a statue.
"The 'Statue of Unity' is a testimony to the fact that Make in India is as much a sham as Swachh Bharat has been. While crores of Indians are still defecating in the open due to lack of sanitation facilities, 99 per cent work on the statue was completed abroad.
"Modi and the RSS - which has been his alma mater - are the Indian heirs of Hitler and Goebbels for whom spreading falsehood is an ideology. We and all Left and secular parties are therefore committed to defeating the BJP in the next general elections", Viswam asserted.
A beginning to this end has already been made in Patna where all like-minded parties had gathered and spoken in one voice at a rally organized by CPI, he claimed. State CPI secretary Satya Narayan Singh was also present at the press conference.
(With inputs from agencies.)