Nehru statue re­moved for Kumbh beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, Cong & SP protest

Pro­tes­tors charged UP gov­ern­ment of try­ing to wipe out the ide­olo­gies of the first PM

Sunday Express - - INDIA - NAMITA BAJPAI

THE re­moval of the statue of In­dia’s first prime min­is­ter Jawa­har­lal Nehru from Bal­san Chau­raha in Al­la­habad on Thurs­day drew an­gry protests from Congress and Sa­ma­jwadi Party lead­ers on Satur­day.

The pro­tes­tors at­trib­uted the move to state gov­ern­ment’s ill in­ten­tions and termed it an at­tempt to do away with Nehru’s ide­ol­ogy. They termed it as an in­sult to In­dia’s first PM.

How­ever, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said that the statue was re­moved in view of the on­go­ing beau­ti­fi­ca­tion drive of in the city for the up­com­ing Kumbh Mela to be held in Jan­uary 2019, dur­ing which a large num­ber of out­siders were ex­pected to throng the Sangam City. The move is aimed at broad­en­ing the roads to fa­cil­i­tate smooth traf­fic flow dur­ing the mela, they claimed.

Chant­ing anti-Yogi slo­gans, the pro­tes­tors charged the Ut­tar Pradesh gov­ern­ment with try­ing to wipe out the mem­o­ries and the ide­olo­gies of coun­try’s first PM.

“In course of widen­ing of roads, Bal­son cross­ing needed to be re­duced a lit­tle bit in size as it seemed to be un­wieldy. This par­tic­u­lar round­about has three stat­ues. Nehru’s statue was com­ing in way of pro­posed lay­out. Hence it was re­moved and stalled at same place af­ter ac­quir­ing around 10 feet of space,” the gov­ern­ment clar­i­fied while re­spond­ing to Op­po­si­tion’s ac­cu­sa­tion that it was only Nehru’s statue tar­geted and those of Deen Dayal Uapdhyay and Hemwati Nanadan Bahuguna also present on the same cross­ing were not touched.

The au­thor­i­ties had also clar­i­fied that the said statue was re­moved and kept in an ad­join­ing park for the time be­ing while the works to the round­about were be­ing car­ried out.

Mean­while, Ut­tar Pradesh Congress Com­mit­tee (UPCC) chief Raj Bab­bar tweeted: “The statue of late Ra­jiv Gandhi was van­dalised in PM Modi’s con­stituency Varanasi. Statue of Jawa­har Lal Nehru was lifted by crane for re­mov­ing it in Al­la­habad. His­tory will re­mem­ber the ar­ro­gance of the BJP. We will not for­get th­ese pic­tures. This is our pain and this will be our in­spi­ra­tion also.”

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