New Parliament building: Gandhi statue hurriedly shifted, move raises eyebrows
Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic statue in the parliament complex was shifted prematurely from its place facing the main gate to a space overlooking gate number 3 on Tuesday morning. The hurried shifting has raised eyebrows as the initial plan was to do so during the one-month gap between the first and the second part of the Budget Session that begins on January 29.
The shifting was planned to make space for the ongoing construction of the new Parliament building.
Officials in the Speaker Om Birla office were surprised at the hasty shifting. The space in front of the statue has been a preferred location for the Opposition lawmakers to protest against the government policies and proposed laws. During the last monsoon session, some Opposition lawmakers camped overnight in front of the statue to protest against the hurried passage of the farm bills.
Officials said the Public works Department, the government’s construction arm, carefully shifted the statue and placed it in a small lawn near the gate used exclusively by the Speaker to reach his office.
Officials added the Gandhi statue is eventually planned to installed just outside the current Parliament building, where that of late former Union home minister Govind Ballabh Pant currently stands. Pant’s statue is planned to be shifted to New Delhi Pant Marg named after him.
Gandhi’s 16-feet high bronze statue in a meditating posture, sculpted by Ram Sutar, was unveiled by then President Shanker Dayal Sharma on October 2, 1993.
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