Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled the 63-ft tall statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya while inaugurating the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre in Padao on the Varanasi-Chandauli border.
The 'pancha loha' statue is the tallest statue of the BJP ideologue in the country. Over 200 artisans have worked for almost a year in order to complete the structure.
The Memorial Centre, spread over nine acres, will also have the engravings of the life and times of Deendayal Upadhyaya. About 30 Odisha craftsmen and artists have worked on the project during the last year, according to an official statement.
The Prime Minister also launched projects worth Rs 1,200 crore for his constituency. The projects include a 430-bed superspecialty government hospital, and a 74-bed psychiatry hospital at Banaras Hindu University.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also flagged off Kashi Mahakal Express (Varanasi-Indore) via video conferencing here on Sunday. The train will connect the three Jyotirling pilgrim centres of Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar.
He also asserted that the trust set up for construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya will work "rapidly". "A trust has been formed for construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. This trust will work rapidly," he said at a public meeting during his day-long visit to his Lok Sabha constituency.
The government had recently set up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra on the Supreme Court's directive to the Union government to form a trust that can look into the construction and management of the temple.
Amidst continuing protests against the amended citizenship law, PM Modi said his government stood by the decision despite all pressure.
"Be it the decision on Article 370 or the Citizenship Amendment Act, it was necessary in the interest of the country. Despite pressure, we stand by our decision and will remain so," he said.
(With input from Agencies)