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Mallikarjun Kharge writes to LS Speaker, RS Chairman; seeks relocation of Gandhi, Ambedkar statues back

3 weeks ago 24

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman over the shifting of statues of Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar and other national leaders to a new location in the Parliament complex and has demanded that they be restored to their original places. In his letter addressed to Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman, he said the statues of national leaders have been relocated to a separate corner "artbitrarily" without any consultation and this amounts to violation of the basic spirit of democracy.

"I wish to emphasise at the very threshold that such removal of these statues arbitrarily, without any consultation, violates the basic spirit of our democracy. Needless to mention that the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and other national leaders were situated at prominent locations after due deliberation and consideration. Each statue and its location across the Parliament House complex held immense value and significance," Kharge said in his letter sent separately to the Speaker and RS Chairman.

The Congress chief, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, pointed out that there is a dedicated committee for installing portraits and statues of national leaders and MPs in the Parliament House Complex - "Committee on the Installation of Portraits and Statues of National Leaders and Parliamentarians in the Parliament House Complex" but the panel has not been reconstituted since 2019.

"Hence, such decisions made without any proper discussion and deliberation with relevant stakeholders are against the rules and traditions of our Parliament. Therefore, I demand that the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and other national leaders who greatly contributed for the unity and integrity of our nation must be relocated to their original locations with due respect and regard," he wrote.

The Congress has taken strong objection to the shifting of the statues.

The opposition parties have often held protest marches and agitations within the Parliament complex before the statues of Gandhi and Ambedkar.

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