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Relocated Gandhi, Ambedkar statues inaugurated at Prerna Sthal

The move had led to criticism. However, outgoing Speaker Om Birla said that the relocation took place after discussions with stakeholders.
Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 20:25 IST

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New Delhi: The statues of Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and 13 founders of the nation, which were removed from their places in the Parliament to a space called Prerna Sthal, leading to an uproar, were inaugurated on Sunday by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Deputy Rajya Sabha Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, and Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Kiren Rijiju attended the event.

The move had led to criticism. However, outgoing Speaker Om Birla said that the relocation took place after discussions with stakeholders. 

“None of the statues have been removed; they have been relocated. There is no need to indulge in politics on this,” Birla said.

“From time to time, I have been discussing these issues with different stakeholders. People were of the view that having these statues in one place will help disseminate information about their lives and achievements in a better way,” he added.

Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh, who has been raising the issue, said that the Parliament’s Committee on Portraits and Statues last met on December 18, 2018, as per the website of the lower house.

“It was not even reconstituted during the 17th Lok Sabha (2019-2024), which also functioned for the first time without the Constitutional post of Deputy Speaker. Today, a major reconfiguration of statues in the Parliament complex is being inaugurated. Clearly it is a decision taken by the ruling regime unilaterally,” he posted on X.

The Lok Sabha Secretariat, in a statement released last week, said that "an action plan" was made to ensure the stories of these leaders reached visitors via technology.

"Due to their location at different places in the Parliament Complex, visitors were not able to view these statues conveniently. For this reason, all these statues are being respectfully installed in a grand Prerna Sthal in the Parliament House Complex itself,” the statement said.

“In this Prerna Sthal, arrangements are also being made to provide detailed information to the visitors through modern technology regarding the lives and contributions of our great freedom fighters so that the people coming to visit them could get inspiration from their lives and thoughts,” it added.

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Published 16 June 2024, 20:25 IST

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