After Red Fort row, Punjab govt wants Jallianwala Bagh in ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme
Even as the decision to hand over the maintenance of tourist amenities at the Red Fort to a corporate group has generated controversy, Punjab’s Congress government has written a letter to the Union tourism ministry to include key historical and religious sites of the state in the government’s ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme. These include Jallianwala Bagh and Gurudwara Anandpur Sahib.
The Congress last week opposed the handing over of Red Fort to the Dalmia Bharat group, alleging that this was akin to bartering away “the symbol of the freedom movement”. The party also said prominent monuments must not be given to corporates.
In the letter dated February 20, 2018, Captain Amarinder Singh’s government asked for seven monuments to be considered. HT has a copy of the letter. The seven monuments include Jallianwala Bagh; Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Museum, Khatkar Kalan; National Martyrs Memorial, Ludhiana; Takht-i-Akbar, Kalanaur (Gurdaspur); Gurudwara Sri Anandpur Sahib; Gurudwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib; and Gurudwara Sri Chamkaur Sahib.
Punjab’s Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who signed the letter, didn’t respond to calls and messages.
However, before the controversy broke out, Sidhu, in an interview with HT, had supported the scheme.
When asked about the Punjab government’s letter, Congress’ communication department chief, Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is campaigning in Karnataka for the upcoming assembly elections, said he would not comment until he spoke to Sidhu.
Speaking on the row caused by the government’s decision, SK Mishra, former secretary, ministry of tourism, said the issue was being unnecessarily politicised.