NEW DELHI: Continuing the protest against the shifting of statues of national icons in the Parliament complex, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Wednesday wrote to the presiding officers of the two Houses of Parliament demanding that statues of Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar be restored to their original prominent spots.
In letters to Speaker Lok Sabha Om Birla and Chairman Rajya Sabha Jagdeep Dhankhar, Kharge said the shifting of statues to a corner of Parliament without any consultation with stakeholders or in the committee dedicated for the purpose, violated the spirit of democracy.
“Each statue and its location across the Parliament House complex held immense value and significance,” he said.
Kharge said the spot of Gandhi’s statue in a meditative posture, installed on October 2, 1993 in front of the old Parliament Building, had a sacrosanct value which inspired the MPs and where member also held protests to draw the govt’s attention for redressal of people’s grievances.
Also, Ambedkar’s statue at a vantage position, installed on April 2, 1967, had become a convenient place for tributes to the leader on his anniversaries by common people, without any concerns for security.
Kharge noted he was at the forefront of demands for Ambedkar’s statue in Parliament in his student days in the 1960s.
The Congress chief also expressed anguish that the dedicated committee for installing portraits and statues in the Parliament House Complex, comprising members of both Houses, has not been reconstituted since 2019.
“I demand that the statues of Gandhi, 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. Congress has been lashing out at the govt against the relocation of statues since the process started. The controversial spot, “Prerna Sthal“, was unveiled on Sunday.