Parliament has passed the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019, with Rajya Sabha approving it today. The Lok Sabha had passed this Bill in the last session.
The Bill seeks to amend the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951. It has a provision to remove the President of the Congress party as a trustee and clarifies that when there is no Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the leader of the single largest Opposition party will be the trustee.
The Bill also allows the Central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of the period of his term, without assigning any reason.
Replying to the discussion on the Bill, Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said there is no politics involved in it. He questioned as to why the Congress Party is raising objections over the removal of its President as a trustee.
He said now, leaders chosen by the people will hold this post. The Minister said the government’s intention is to build a Memorial so that the sacrifice of martyrs is remembered by generations to come.
Earlier, initiating the discussion, Pratap Singh Bajwa of Congress objected to the Bill terming it cynical. He said Congress has a history in India’s freedom struggle and removing its President as a Trustee is objectionable. He urged the government to withdraw the Bill. Mr Bajwa also demanded to confer Bharat Ratna on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Sukhendu Shekar Roy of TMC appealed to the government to renovate the place wherein the mortal remains of the martyr Uddham Singh have been kept and proper arrangements have been made to maintain the museum situated in the Jaliawala Bagh.
He demanded that decedents of the families who lost their lives during the massacre must be brought in the trust.
Prof. Ramgopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party demanded that the list of the martyrs should be displayed at the memorial. He also asked the government to provide all kinds of facilities to the family members of the martyrs of Jaliawala Bagh.
KK Ragesh of CPI(M) questioned the Bill, alleging that it has been brought with ill intentions. Tiruchisiva of DMK also opposed the Bill. On the other hand, RCP Singh of JDU supported it.
Shwait Malik of BJP also supported the Bill and said, there should be no politics on martyrs’ place. He said, there should be no dominance of any party on the trust.
Prasanna Acharya of BJD, Manoj Jha of RJD, and others also participated in the discussion. (AIR)