Who took the decision to change the place of statues in the Parliament premises? Om Birla told the whole story

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: Amid the controversy over relocating the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr BR Ambedkar in the Parliament complex, outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday said that 'no statue has been removed'. Birla said that the statues of all the great men have been 'relocated' and it has been decided to install them all at one place at 'Prerna Sthal' in the complex itself. Birla said that he has taken this decision 'after discussions and deliberations with many people' and 'neither the government has anything to do with it nor has it interfered in it.'

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Inauguration of Prerna Sthal in Parliament House Complex

On Sunday, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar inaugurated Prerna Sthal in the Parliament House complex, where statues of 15 great men and freedom fighters have been installed. Many MPs including Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju were present on the occasion. The statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar were earlier at the place in the Parliament complex where the opposition used to gather to protest against the government. The Congress on Sunday claimed that the government took the decision to shift the statues 'unilaterally'.

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Last meeting in December 2018

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on Instagram that according to the Lok Sabha website, the last meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Portraits and Statues was held on December 18, 2018 and it was not reconstituted in the 17th Lok Sabha. He wrote that Mahatma Gandhi's statue has been removed not once but twice.

Statues of 15 great men and freedom fighters

Birla said, 'Statues of 15 great men and freedom fighters were installed at different places in the Lok Sabha complex, due to which they were not maintained properly and visitors were not able to know where the statue of which great man was. The statues have been shifted from time to time. During the construction of the new Parliament building, the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Motilal Nehru and Chaudhary Devi Lal were respectfully shifted to another place in the complex.'

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Decision of the Speaker of Lok Sabha

Birla said, 'We have discussed this with many people from time to time. The idea came that all the statues should be at one place, which should be named Prerna Sthal, so that people coming to the Parliament complex can pay tribute to great men at one place and get information about their life philosophy. Such a decision related to the Parliament complex is taken by the Lok Sabha Speaker. There is no interference of the government in this.'

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Open all year round

Birla said that Prerna Sthal, located between the old Parliament House and the Parliament Library building, will remain open for visitors throughout the year and programs will be organized there in honor of great men. He said that through new technology, life stories of great men will also be made available near these statues. People will be able to take inspiration from the life stories available through QR code.

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