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Cong-BJP Leaders Spar over Installation of Ex-MP CM Late Arjun Singh's Statue in Bhopal

Representative image.

Representative image.

The BJP has said putting up Singh’s bust at a site that hosted freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad’s statue earlier would be a disrespect to the latter.

Bhopal: The ruling Congress and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have entangled themselves in yet another controversy over the installation of statue of late chief minister Arjun Singh at a busy trisection where the bust of legendary freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad used to exist till about three years ago.

Even as the statue of Singh that has been installed is awaiting inauguration, the BJP has said the state government was showing disrespect to the freedom fighter.

Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma said, in the past, the mayor-in-council had cleared a proposal for installation of late the CM’s statue at Vyapam Square, but former Congress mayors, including Vibha Patel and Sunil Sood, never made any effort to complete the project during their tenures.

“I was told that days ago, some Congress leaders reached the New Market trisection, summoned municipal officers and ordered that they should install Singh’s statue at the spot which violates the Municipalities Act 1956 as the proposal should have been made to the MiC,” said Sharma.

Stating that putting up Singh’s bust at a site that hosted Azad’s statue earlier would be a disrespect to the freedom fighter, Sharma said, “We would take to streets against this.”

Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said BJP leaders were ill-informed on the matter. Three years ago, Azad’s bust was removed during the then CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s tenure and around a year ago, the civic body had passed a resolution for installation of the chief’s statue, said Gupta.

The statue was scheduled to be unveiled on Monday, but the function was postponed in view of law and order issues following the recent Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit.

Singh’s son Ajay had recently hosted senior Congress leaders at his official residence in Bhopal on his father’s birth anniversary.

In 2016, statues of late president Shankar Dayal Sharma and Maharaja Agrasen were also removed from different areas citing traffic hassles. Sources said the administration might soon select another spot to install Singh’s statue.

first published:November 11, 2019, 21:21 IST