Row over installation of Arjun Singh's statue in MP



A huge row has erupted in Madhya Pradesh over the installation of a statue of former state Chief Minister late Arjun Singh at a place where the bust of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad once stood in Bhopal.

The statue of Arjun Singh was installed at a busy intersection in New Market area of Bhopal after removing the bust of Azad.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan slammed the Kamal Nath government for removing Azad's bust saying, "removal of statue is shameful and those who are involved in the act should be punished."

The Congress hit back, saying, "Three years ago, it was during the BJP-led government that the statue of Azad was removed from the busy crossing on Link Road No 1. Since last three years, the concerned road crossing was empty. Just a year back, Bhopal Nagar Nigam Parishad passed a resolution to install Arjun Singh's statue there. The same resolution is now being implemented."

According to sources, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation has built the 10-feet high statue of Arjun Singh, weighing 985 kg, at a cost of about Rs 12 lakh. The statue has already been installed, only the inauguration is awaited.

The statue was supposed to be inaugurated on Monday but was delayed due to the imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 currently in place in the capital city owing to the Ayodhya verdict.

The new date for the installation ceremony will be announced later.

Leader of opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Gopal Bhargava said, "the municipal authorities in order to please their masters have even forgotten the great men who contributed to India's freedom. There are so many places in the city where the statue of Arjun Singh could have been installed. This shows that the government has no place for martyrs."IANS