Karnataka govt announces 120-ft Vivekananda statue near Bengaluru, faces flak   

The Karnataka Congress Chief DK Shivakumar has said that the government should instead look at addressing the COVID-19 related issues being faced by the needy in the state.
Karnataka govt announces 120-ft Vivekananda statue near Bengaluru, faces flak   
Karnataka govt announces 120-ft Vivekananda statue near Bengaluru, faces flak   
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The BJP-led Karnataka government has sparked a row by announcing that they will install a 120-feet-high statue of Swami Vivekananda on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The proposed statue, announced by Housing Minister V Somanna, is to come up about ten kilometres after Bannerghatta National Park, near the Muthyala Maduvu waterfalls in Jigani, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The minister had said that this statue was inspired by the 597-feet-tall statue of unity – that of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – in Gujarat

The opposition has slammed the BJP-led state government over the announcement of the Vivekananda statue. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) leader, DK Shivakumar said that the state government should instead focus on the COVID-19 related issues that Karnataka is facing right now. Speaking to the media, Shivakumar said, “This BJP government in Karnataka doesn’t have priority on what has to be done. Now it is not the time to build any statue. It is time to sort out the problems of the state. The state has to be developed. Look at the problems of migrants, labourers, farmers and all the sectors.”

The opposition leader pointed out that the government should look after the needs of the people instead, saying, “Till today, the CM hasn’t called a meeting of bankers, farmers. Not a single rupee has reached any farmer, labourer or anyone who has been doing their jobs. Not even a single rupee has reached a driver,” the KPPC Chief has said in a statement to a media channel.

This comes after the state government has come under fire for wanting to name a flyover in Bengaluru after Veer Sarvakar, a Hindu ideologue. The opposition had termed the move as an “insult” to the freedom fighters of Karnataka.

The Vivekananda statue is set to be built on a three-acre plot that is part of the 1900-acre Prime Minister’s Township, being built by Karnataka Housing Board. Of this, the government has already secured 780 acres.

The Yediyurappa-led government has said that the statue, which is also being built by KHB, will help make Muthyala Maduvu into a tourist spot as the place already has waterfalls and is not too far from the Bannerghatta National Park.

However, environmental activists have opposed the move to put up the statue so close to the Bannerghatta National Park. The Hindu quoted the noted environmental activist Leo Saldana as saying that the government should not develop the area around Bannerghatta National park into a ‘high density tourist zone’ as it was not advisable.

It is to be noted that DK Shivakumar, who has criticised the move, had started the project to install a 114 feet statue of Jesus Christ at Harobele village in Ramanagara. The project ran into controversy after BJP came into power and started a probe into whether the land for the statue was given illegally.    

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