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Oppn walks out of assembly over Shivaji statue height

Friday, March 09, 2018
By Suyash Padate

The Congress and NCP members were up in arms in the state assembly yesterday over the issue pertaining to warrior king Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's statue. They alleged that the height of the statue to be constructed near Mumbai coast has been reduced. The pandemonium continued in the house for some time as the opposition members became aggressive during the discussion.

This contentious issue was raised by Jayant Patil of NCP through an adjournment motion. While moving this notice Patil said, “The height of the Shivaji statue has been decreased by changing the earlier design. The height of the statue has been reduced from 160 metres to 126 metres, including the pedestal”.

During the discussion, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “Fresh environmental clearances are needed as the design has been changed. The work has not yet started because fresh environmental clearances have not been received.”

Speaking on this issue, Ajit Pawar made the query as to why the design was changed. “The BJP-led government is using the iconic king only to get votes,” he alleged.

Responding to the allegations, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “The government will complete the project during its tenure, and the opposition should not politicise this vital issue. This Chhatrapati Shivaji statue will be the biggest in the world. It will be and remain 210 metres high. There is no need to create doubts. The issue is of our state’s pride and identity”.

The opposition members started shouting slogans, demanding a discussion on the issue. As a result the house was adjourned for ten minutes. After the House reassembled, Education Minister Vinod Tawde said the opposition is jealous because the construction of the statue will start during the tenure of the BJP-led government”. Irritated, the opposition members finally staged a walkout.

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