'No government bungalow to be converted into memorial'

No government bungalow in Delhi will henceforth be converted into any memorial, the Union Cabinet decided on Saturday, weeks after a row over RLD chief Ajit Singh's demand for making his official residence a memorial of his father and former Prime Minister Charan Singh.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 18, 2014, 22:22 PM IST

New Delhi: No government bungalow in Delhi will henceforth be converted into any memorial, the Union Cabinet decided on Saturday, weeks after a row over RLD chief Ajit Singh's demand for making his official residence a memorial of his father and former Prime Minister Charan Singh.

In another significant decision, the Cabinet decided that government will associate with birth and death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi only and the anniversaries of other departed leaders may be observed by respective trusts, parties, societies or supporters.

"With regard to the allotment of bungalows for memorials and the management of samadhis of our departed national leaders, henceforth no bungalow shall be made available for memorial for any person," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The decision comes against the backdrop of a controversy triggered after Ajit Singh resisted last month moves to make him vacate the 12, Tuglaq Road, bungalow allotted to him as the then Union Minister. He wanted it to be converted into a memorial of his father.

Earlier this year, there was a controversy over conversion of the then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar's official residence into a memorial in the memory of her father and former Deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram.

Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the then Cabinet had decided to allow the memorial for 25 years. It went against the Cabinet decision of 2000 of the NDA government which said that no government bungalow will be allowed for conversion into memorials.

Prior to Meira Kumar's case, BSP chief Mayawati had also got a bungalow in a prime locality here converted into a memorial in the memory of former party chief Kanshi Ram.