Mysuru: The question that was uppermost on everyone’s mind during the unveiling function of statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar at Town Hall premises yesterday was why had AICC (All India Congress Committee) President Rahul Gandhi not come to attend the function.
And one of the persons in the audience directly asked Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who was flummoxed by the question, “Why did Rahul Gandhi not come to unveil the statue of Ambedkar?”
The man continued further and said that there were reports in the media that AICC President Rahul Gandhi is going to unveil the statue. Even though he is in Mysuru, why has he not come? Siddharamaiah was taken aback by this direct onslaught of question.
However, recovering his poise, the Chief Minister in his usual casual way remarked,“Nodaiah, samayada abhavadinda neravagi Maharaja College maidanakke baruttare. Ellige baralla.” (See, as there is paucity of time, he will directly go to Maharaja’s College Grounds. He will not come here). After that the CM immediately unveiled the statue and the dome (gopura) offered flowers and left the place.
Highlights of the statue: The statute unveiled yesterday is one of the most unique ones in the country. The statue and the dome are carved out of white marble at a cost of Rs.5.85 crore. The crown is laced with gold-plated covering. The white marble weighing 35 tons was brought from Jaipur in Rajasthan and after the statue was sculpted, the weight came down to nine tons, said Sculptor Arun Yogiraj.
The statue including the pedestal is 15 feet in height and the work was completed in six months. Seven persons including himself worked on the statue, he told the Media.
Postal cover released: In commemoration of the unveiling of the statue of Dr. Ambedkar, the Postal Department brought out a special postal cover worth Rs.8 on the occasion.
Procession cancelled: According to the original programme, Rahul Gandhi, after arriving from Srirangapatna, was to rest for a short while and later go out in a procession from FTS Circle on Mysuru-Bengaluru Road, pass through St. Philomena’s Church, reach Town Hall, unveil the statue of Dr. Ambedkar and reach Basaveshwara Circle and garland the statue. However, due to paucity of time, the procession was cancelled, said the officials.
Mayor absent: Mayor B. Bhagyavathi-led group which had alleged that the Public Works Department (PWD) had not invited her for the function and staged a protest on Saturday (Mar.24) did not attend the unveiling function. In this group, former Mayor Purshotham was the only one present at the function.
Former Deputy Mayor V. Shylendra, who was insistent that the statue had to be unveiled, joined District in-Charge Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa and participated in the function. However, none of the other Corporators attended it.
Those who participated in the function included Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra, former Union Ministers Rehman Khan and K.H. Muniyappa, MP R. Dhruvanarayan, MLAs Vasu and H.P. Manjunath and Rajya Sabha Member B.K. Hariprasad.