Defence minister AK Antony on Sunday called India Gate the ideal spot for a war memorial, seemingly ignoring chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s reservations about the proposal.
“As far as we are concerned, this (India Gate) is the place to have a war memorial. We are very clear,” Antony told reporters after laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Indian victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
The defence minister was asked to react to letters written by the Delhi chief minister opposing the construction of a war memorial at the India Gate. Antony said that after long years of effort, a group of ministers (GoM) set up by the Prime Minister and the three services chiefs had agreed on a war memorial at the spot.
“Before taking the proposal to the cabinet (for approval), the urban development ministry had written to all stakeholders seeking their comments and views. But I am sure that we will be able to clinch the issue," Antony added, when asked if Dikshit's missives might delay the process of building the war memorial.
Dikshit in her letters said that an alternative site should be found for the memorial as India Gate was the only popular hangout place for people of the city.