BJP’s Shwait Malik raises concern over separate Jallianwala memorial

BJP’s Shwait Malik raises concern over separate Jallianwala memorial

Rajya Sabha member Shwait Malik addresses mediapersons in Amritsar.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22

Rajya Sabha member and BJP leader Shwait Malik has raised concern over erecting a separate memorial dedicated to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. He termed it as a political move by the state Congress which could not contribute towards making the original historical site an ideal place.

“Capt Amarinder Singh is going to construct a memorial for martyrs around 5 km away from the Jallianwala Bagh. The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust was run by the Congress for 70 years and ruined the garden. Congress leaders hardly visit the Jallianwala Bagh. In 2016, I visited the historical garden and it was in need of urgent repairs. There was no arrangement of potable water. The washrooms were not there. The fans were defunct in the gallery. The digital theatre was presenting a poor picture. It was disgusting on the part of the Congress leadership and their trustees (also Congress leaders) to neglect it,” said Shwait Malik.

Malik claimed that he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP high command and discussed the issue of poor upkeep of the Jallianwala Bagh. “On my request, former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Central minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the Cultural Minister visited the garden. The BJP government made a plan to renovate it. We made a 3D digital theatre, installed new fountains, Shaheedi well redeveloped, bullet marks preserved and landscaping were done in the Jallianwala Bagh. We changed its face in one year,” he said.

“It is strange that the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab was constructing the memorial 5 km away. Actually, the Congress leadership is trying to avoid the questions of people about the failure of their trust to take care of the Jallianwala Bagh. Capt Amarinder Singh wanted to get political mileage out of it. I am not against the new memorial but oppose the politicisation of the issue,” he added.

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