Had Sardar Patel not united the country, we would need visas to see lions or pay homage at Somnath or view the Charminar in Hyderabad, the prime minister said. Modi initially commissioned the Statue of Unity back in 2010 when he was Gujarat's chief minister. Police guarded the new posters put in their place.
Indian policemen gather next to the Statue of Unity.
The accusations are a distortion of history, says Congress, which ruled India for much of its independence history and is now led by Rahul Gandhi, the great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.
In a statement, the former Chief Minister said it was unfortunate that when she got parks, monuments and idols installed of B.R. Aambedkar and other Dalit icons, she was badgered by the RSS and BJP for splurging public money.
"I am not against Sardar, but what is the use of the statue if the people on the land have to suffer and are moved from their homes?"
The BSP leader also said that if BJP leaders had regard for Patel, then the party, which has been ruling Gujarat for a long time, should have constructed the statue earlier.
More than 80 percent of the local population are from tribal groups with special protected status.
The statute is in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a nationalist who helped unite modern India after gaining independence from Britain.
Locals in the Narmada district of Gujarat state, where the statue is located, threatened to protest the statue's unveiling. With all due respect to him (Patel), we feel Mahatma Gandhi is the tallest leader of Indian politics.
India has just unveiled the world's tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, standing 597 feet, which makes it nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
Indian authorities hope the statue will attract 15,000 visitors a day to the remote corner of Gujarat, which is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the nearest city of Vadodora.
The "Statue of Unity" is double the size of the Statue of Liberty in NY standing 240 metres high.
The bronze statue is made up of almost 100,000 tons of steel and concrete. The current design would make it 212 metres high.