No Govt Bungalow to Be Converted Into Memorial: Centre

New Delhi
No Govt Bungalow to Be Converted Into Memorial: Centre

No government bungalow in Delhi will henceforth be converted into any memorial, the Union Cabinet decided today, weeks after a row over RLD chief Ajit Singh's demand for making his official residence a memorial of his father and former Prime Minister Charan Singh.

In another significant decision, the Cabinet decided that government will associate with birth and death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi only and the anniversaries of other departed leaders may be observed by respective trusts, parties, societies or supporters.

"With regard to the allotment of bungalows for memorials and the management of samadhis of our departed national leaders, henceforth no bungalow shall be made available for memorial for any person," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The decision comes against the backdrop of a controversy triggered after Ajit Singh resisted last month moves to make him vacate the 12, Tuglaq Road, bungalow allotted to him as the then Union Minister. He wanted it to be converted into a memorial of his father.

Earlier this year, there was a controversy over conversion of the then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar's official residence into a memorial in the memory of her father and former Deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram.

Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the then Cabinet had decided to allow the memorial for 25 years. It went against the Cabinet decision of 2000 of the NDA government which said that no government bungalow will be allowed for conversion into memorials.

Prior to Meira Kumar's case, BSP chief Mayawati had also got a bungalow in a prime locality here converted into a memorial in the memory of former party chief Kanshi Ram.

The decision of the Narendra Modi government marks revival of the policy of the Vajpayee government on memorials.

Memorials have also been established at official bungalows of former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi.

On anniversaries of former leaders, Jaitley said that except for Mahatma Gandhi's birth and death anniversaries, the Central government will not organise any other function in memory of other departed national leaders.

"Gandhiji's birth and death anniversary, which is managed by the Rajghat Committee, will be a function organised by the central government and for all our other national leaders, it will be private societies or trusts of their supporters, parties, family members which will organise these functions," Jaitley said.

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