Controversy over China-made Statue of Equality: Here is what we know
A controversy has erupted over the Statue of Equality, the 216 feet seated idol of Ramanujacharya recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Hyderabad temple. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday claimed that the statue is made in China, questioning and criticising PM Modi's vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Union minister of culture G Kishan Reddy condemned the attack and said Rahul Gandhi's accusation is shallow and ignorant.
Here is what we know so far about the controversy
> State of Equality was made by China's Aerosun Corporation. Reports said the statue was cast in China while it was assembled in India.
> Union minister G Kishan Reddy clarified that the government was not involved in the making of the statue. It was a completely private initiative, conceived over 8 years ago.
> Kishan Reddy also said that the project was conceived before PM Modi's call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
> China's Aerosun Corporation was given the tender in 2015, a year after PM Modi came to power in the Centre for the first time. There was an Indian company in the bidding race, but the Chinese company won the tender. The installation of the statue took place in India for about 15 months.
> The statue has been erected inside Samata Kendram, a temple near Hyderabad airport in Shamshabad. The spiritual centre is built on 45 acres of land, donated by industrialist Jupally Rameswar Rao, a report said. The project was conceived by Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.
> The fund for the project has been raised through donations. ₹135 crore was spent for the statue while the entire project is of ₹1,000 crore.