A controversy has broken out over a new statue of Bhagat Singh installed at Jalandhar’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk on Martyrs’ Day that was observed on Tuesday. In a letter to CM Amarinder Singh, former BJP minister Manoranjan Kalia has pointed out that the new statue does not resemble the pictures of the martyr available in public domain.
Kalia, in his letter to CM, has also demanded a probe in this matter.
Apart from the BJP, the SAD too has attacked the Congress, calling it an insult to Bhagat Singh.
Congress MLA from Jalandhar North Bawa Henry and Mayor of Municipal Corporation, Jagdish Raja, had inaugurated the newly installed statue.
In his letter, Kalia wrote, “In the name of beautification, the statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh has been replaced with a new 5-ft statue, by Municipal Corporation but the newly installed statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh does not resemble his photographs available in the public domain.”
He added: “The pedestal upon which the 5-ft statue stands is only 11 inch in height and if any person goes pay tribute the height of the person will be taller than the statue which is disrespectful to the tall martyr. Also the name of Bhagat Singh has not been mentioned on the pedestal or anywhere. The name of Bhagat Singh only appears on the plaque that mentions Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk in small letters while the names of the persons who inaugurated it are much bigger than this.” Saying that such blunders should not be ignored, the letter further said: “Bhagat Singh is our national hero and deserved much respect not such callous approach by the corporation and local Congress leaders who did not care to have statue resembling his photos.”
Kalia has demanded an inquiry to fix accountability for this act and also demanded recovery of the public money wasted on the wrong statue. He has called for replacing the statue with a new one by some established sculptor.
Mayor Jagdish Raja admitted that the statue does not resemble pictures of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and assured that it will be replaced.