New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday targetted Congress and said it was unfortunate that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel never became the Prime Minister of the country. Addressing the gathering, he said, “Had he not been there, India wouldn’t have been unified. Had Kashmir been in his hands instead of Jawaharlal Nehru, its 1/3rd part wouldn’t have been with Pakistan. India was unfortunate that Sardar Patel wasn’t its PM. What Congress did to him, need not be said again. Also Read - Virat Kohli Should Divorce Anushka Sharma For Making 'Pataal Lok': BJP Minister Nandkishor Gurjar Gets Trolled For Bizarre Remark

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 182-meter high ‘Statue of Unity’ in honour of country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Dedicating the marvel to the nation, he had hailed crores of farmers who turned its construction to a peoples’ movement. Also Read - 'Will Defeat Coronavirus Under CM Thackeray's Leadership': Maharashtra Minister Raut Slams Centre, BJP | Watch

Chouhan further said that grand old party never gave respect to Patel. “It forgot him, who unified India. I congratulate the PM that he unveiled the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel today. That is the true tribute to him,” he said.

Today, PM Modi also launched a veiled attack on the Congress for calling ambitious Statue of Unity project a ‘marketing gimmick’. He had said, “Sometimes I am left amazed at how some people connect the schemes and projects launched by us to politics. We are being opposed to praising great persons like Sardar Patel. We are being felt as if we are criminals.”

Notably on Monday, former Gujarat chief minister and expelled rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela took a jibe at Statue of Unity project and termed it a ‘marketing gimmick’. He reportedly said, “I see the unveiling of the Statue of Unity as a desperate attempt by the BJP to gain political mileage and nothing else. They are losing public support. Not a single work was done by this government in four-and-half years for the common man.”

Built on Sadhu Bet Island on Narmada river, the Statue of Unity is touted to be the world’s tallest. The Rs 2,389 crore monument is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who played a major role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.

The Statue of Unity is almost 29 metres taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha that stands at 153 metres, and almost twice as high as the 93-metre Statue of Liberty in New York.