Mahatma Gandhi statue in Leicester soon

March 28th, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 28 (IANS) The residents of Leicester - home to the largest ethnic Indian population in Britain - are set to receive a statue of Mahatma Gandhi after footballer Gary Lineker gave his support in writing to a local MP. Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East and the man who has led the campaign for the installation of a Gandhi statue, said the statue was all set to be sculpted as soon as the city council gave its planning permission.

The idea to install a Gandhi statue ran into trouble last month after a group of locals put up an online petition saying a local star, such as former England skipper Gary Lineker, should be honoured with a statue, rather than the Indian independence hero.

“I wrote to Gary, asking him to clarify his position, and he has now written back saying he very much supports the idea of a Gandhi statue for reasons of diversity in Leicester,” Vaz told IANS.

The idea already has the backing of Lord Richard Attenborough, who made an Oscar-winning film on Gandhi.

“Lineker said in his letter, ‘in case my ears are too big and the cost of the statue may have been too much’,” Vaz added.

The MP said plans to sculpt the statue and install it in October - to coincide with Gandhi’s birth anniversary - are in place and that he was now waiting for the outcome of a planning permission application pending with Leicester City Council.

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