Bhopal: Unveiling of Arjun Singh statue postponed as BJP protests

Bhopal: Unveiling of Arjun Singh statue postponed as BJP protests

Uncertainty prevailed over a partially covered statue of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh that was to be unveiled at Major Nanke petrol pump tri-section near New Market locality here on Monday.

The life-size statue was installed at a site where the bust of freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad once stood, before it was shifted a few metres away for better traffic management. The BJP was in power at that time of the shift.

Now, the BJP has accused the Congress government of insulting the leader by choosing the same place to install a full-size statue that towers over the bust.

Mayor Alok Sharma told The Indian Express that the corporation passed a resolution on September 30 to install Singh’s statue, but the spot was closer to the Congress headquarters. He alleged that a file was moved on October 18 without the mayor-in-council’s knowledge, with a clear noting that “the decision has been taken at top level”. The council has not taken a call on the file, he said.

The BJP said it wanted the statue of the former CM, but not where Azad’s bust stood, because it makes the politician’s stature bigger than the revolutionary leader’s. Armed with copies of resolutions and file notings, a BJP delegation on Monday requested the Bhopal divisional commissioner to shift the Congress leader’s statue elsewhere.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath was to unveil the statue Monday, but the ceremony was postponed citing prohibitory orders.

“MP is ashamed over the treatment of the statue (bust) of great revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad…,’’ tweeted former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The Congress said the decision to install the statue of the veteran was taken by the BJP-ruled municipal corporation and the government had no role in it.

BMC chairman and BJP leader Surjit Singh Chouhan said the statue was being installed against rules.