Bhagat Singh's statue in Jalandhar: Cheaper material, no likeness

CM urged to probe anomalies | BJP leader writes fresh letter seeking action

Bhagat Singh's statue in Jalandhar: Cheaper material, no likeness

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17

The row over the newly erected statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at a junction in the city refuses to die down. Built at a cost of Rs 5.59 lakh, the statue has been in controversy over its height and likeness to the martyr.

A fortnight after writing to the CM seeking an inquiry into the “unauthentic” statue of the martyr, installed at Bhagat Singh Chowk, BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia has yet again sent a letter to the CM. Pointing out that the statue has no resemblance with the martyr, Kalia has demanded an inquiry into use of ‘cheaper’ material in violation of the terms of the tender.

While the CM had ordered action on the basis of Kalia’s March 24 letter and sought a report, the BJP leader said some of the issues remained unaddressed. In his fresh letter to the CM on Friday, Kalia says: “I have raised the issue that the statue does not resemble with the authenticated photograph of Shaheed Bhagat Singh available in public domain, but the same has not been mentioned in the letter marked by your office to Principal Secretary, Local Government, for inquiry.

“The Principal Secretary may kindly be directed to inquire whether the same quality of marble has been used as prescribed in the tender. I was given to understand that instead of marble, polystone material has been used to carve out the statue. The material is cheaper than the marble.”

A 20-year-old bust of the martyr, erected on a pedestal, was replaced with the white statue on March 22, the eve of his death anniversary.

Mayor Jagdish Raja said: “The statue had been made by a private company in Lucknow. It has been fashioned after the one in Parliament. Including the pedestal, the statue cost Rs 5.59 lakh. The issue regarding authenticity has come to our notice and we are looking into it.”

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