114-ft Jesus Christ statue: Shivakumar’s plan draws flak from BJP, RSS
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114-ft Jesus Christ statue: Shivakumar’s plan draws flak from BJP, RSS

Agency News

The Congress leader Shivakumar’s plan to erect a 114-ft tall statue of Jesus Christ in Karnataka have sparked a protest from BJP and RSS.

The proposal to construct a 114-ft tall statue of Jesus Christ at Kapalibetta in Kanakapura has been opposed by Bharatiya Janata Party and RSS on Monday. Terming it the Kanakapura Chalo’ protest, the BJP is expecting hundreds to converge at Kapalibetta. The ruling BJP has alleged that the land was acquired via 'illegal means' and stalled the project questioning the source of funds for the construction of the statue. BJP have organised a rally and a memorandum, signed by the public is expected to be submitted to the local authorities.

The ruling party and other right-wing organisations have objected to the construction of the said statue at Kapala Betta and the BJP has ordered a probe into how power supplies and road were provided towards the construction of the same.

In December, a row had broke out over the proposed construction backed by Congressman DK Shivakumar, with the state's ruling BJP terming it as an appeasement politics of JDS-Congress coalition government. Karnataka state revenue minister R Ashoka saying that the land, said to have been purchased for construction of the statue, is not owned by Shivakumar and that it is a gomala land, ie. pasture land meant for community use.

Responding to the angrious protest from BJP and RSS, Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who is an MLA from Kanakpura, said, " It is not my decision but that of villagers of Christian community, being MLA I have to help. Land was given for it, everything is legal." Pacifying his supporters, Shivakumar said: “If any remarks are made against me, my brother (DK Suresh) or people of different faiths in Kanakapura constituency, do not be provoked,’’

To ensure peace, 1,000 policemen, including armed police units have been deployed by the local administration. Harobele, where the statue is to come up, is a village dominated by Christians in Shivakumar’s constituency. The community has been living for about 400 years.

On the occasion of Christmas, DK Shivkumar handed over the documents of the land to the trust that will shoulder the responsibility of installing the statue -- which if constructed will be made from hard granite.

Height of the statue will be 114 feet, 13 feet of the statue would be comprised of steps, which have already been laid. The new statue, if got realized will challenge the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil which stands at 98 feet, excluding its 26-feet pedestal.

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