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Govt stand on IK Gujral`s samadhi bizarre, says son

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 15:44

New Delhi: Former prime minister IK Gujral`s son Naresh Gujral has mounted a campaign seeking development of his father`s place of cremation here and termed as "bizarre" the government stand that separate memorials are no longer being developed for departed leaders.

Gujral, an Akali Dal MP has the backing of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely, whose party BJP and SAD are alliance partners.

Janata Dal leader I K Gujral, who was the Prime Minister of the country for around one year from April 1997 to March 1998, heading a coalition government supported by Congress from outside, had passed away on November 30 last year. Today is the first death anniversary of the departed leader.

Naresh Gujral said that he did not want to create a controversy as his father was a non-controversial person but "the government is taking a bizarre stand."

In his reply to Jaitley on the issue on November 26, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that since August 2000, following a Cabinet decision, "separate samadhis are no longer being developed for departed leaders".

Gujaral, however, took strong objection to it saying that this appears to have been done "only in the case of non-Congress Prime Ministers".

"From the government`s stand, it seems that they also want to remove the Samadhi that was built at the first place. The reply that has come from the government is bizarre," he said.

In his letter to Jaitely, the Prime Minister also said, "Earlier this year in January 2013, the government approved a proposal for the construction of a permanent site to hold the last rites of departed national leaders. This site, named Rashtriya Smriti will be developed at the Samadhi complex in New Delhi and there will be a provision for the placement of suitable plaques in remembrance of the departed leaders.

"The process of construction of the Rashtriya Samiti has commenced and is likely to be completed soon. With regard to late Shri Gujral, a plague in bronze describing his life will be erected at the spot, where he was cremated and remain there till such time as the Rahtriya Samiti is completed, whereafter the plaque will be shifted to its designated place at the Rashtriya Samiti."

First Published: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 15:44

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