Gandhi, Ambedkar, Shivaji statues shifted within Parliament premises, Congress slams move

The statues of Birsa Munda and Maharana Pratap have also been shifted to a lawn between the old Parliament building and the Library.

ByPTI

Published Jun 06, 2024 | 5:23 PMUpdatedJun 06, 2024 | 5:25 PM

Workers removing Ambedkar statue from the Parliament premises. (X)

Statues of Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and Chhatrapati Shivaji, among others, have been relocated within the Parliament premises as part of a landscaping exercise, a move that drew sharp criticism from the Congress on Thursday, 6 June.

The statues of tribal leader Birsa Munda and Maharana Pratap have also been shifted to a lawn between the old Parliament building and the Parliament Library. All statues are now in the same place.

Reacting to the development, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on X, “Statues of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar have just been removed from their places of prominence in front of the Parliament House. This is atrocious.”

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Slams BJP

Attacking the BJP, Congress’s media and publicity department head Pawan Khera said when Maharashtra voters did not vote for the BJP, the statues of Shivaji and Ambedkar were removed from their original place in Parliament.

When they did not get a clean sweep in Gujarat, they removed the statue of Mahatma Gandhi from its original place in Parliament, he said.

“Just think, if they had been given 400 seats, would they have spared the Constitution?” Khera said in a post in Hindi on X.

The Parliament premises will sport a new look when the 18th Lok Sabha convenes for its maiden session in June as work is underway to integrate the entire complex, comprising four different buildings.

As part of the redevelopment of external areas, the statues of national icons, including those of Gandhi, Shivaji and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, were to be moved to a lawn near Gate No 5 of the old Parliament building, which has been named as Samvidhan Sadan.

This would pave the way for the creation of a vast lawn in front of the Gaja Dwar, which is used by the President and the Prime Minister to enter into the new Parliament building.

The lawn can also be used for official ceremonies such as the President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament, usually during the Budget Session.

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