It was only three months ago that the Adimali Gram Panchayat in Idukki district decided to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Grama Panchayat office. The statue sculpted by local craftsmen was unveiled by none other than the Chief Minister of the state Oommen Chandy on August 22.
But the Panchayat is now in some deep trouble. The statue apparently has no resemblance to Gandhi. The only resemblance according to those protesting is that the Gandhi in the statue has spectacles and a walking stick, just like Gandhi in real life.
â€śThe face did not resemble Gandhi, hands and legs were very thin and it didnâ€™t look good. Chief Minister had also said that the statue was imperfect,â€ť Ameer TK, a local resident told The News Minute.
Many activists have demanded an enquiry on why Rs 7 lakh was spent on the 'fake' statue and have called the current statue an insult to the Father of the nation.
However, Panchayat Secretary EA Antony claims that the Panchayat had not yet paid the money for the statue as it has been alleged by his villagers in many media reports. "These are false allegations. We will replace this one with a new statue," he told TNM.
â€śThere were some problems in the existing statue, we agree. But as alleged, we did not waste money as we have not paid the artistes yet. The money will be paid only after the new statue is brought to us,â€ť he said.
Meanwhile, the Gandhi statue stands outside the Panchayat office with a cloth thrown over it.