The BJP-led state government has once again asked the Centre for financial assistance to develop the memorial for late prime minister Morarji Desai,known as Abhay Ghat,which was built on a plot owned by Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust.
While the trust says it must be paid Rs 1 crore for the land it gave for the memorial,the state government says it has no scheme to acquire land to set up a national memorial,which is within the purview of Union Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The state government had sent similar requests in 2007 and 2008,which were rejected by the Centre.
The Union Ministry of Human Resources Development had formed a panel in 1996 to develop the memorial on Abhay Ghat. Since this land belongs to the Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust,it is asking for a payment of Rs 1 crore. The state government had requested Government of India to bear the cost of land,but the Ministry of Culture has declined to do so, senior state officials said.
Desais great grandson Madhukeshwar is said to be close to BJP veteran L K Advani as well as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Madhukeshwar had accompanied Advani through most of his 38-day Jan Chetna Yatra last year and also visited his native place of Valsad in February to mark 116th birth anniversary of Desai.
Though Desai died in Mumbai,the Union government as well as Desais family members conveyed to the state government his desire to be cremated near Sabarmati river and Ashram Gaushala in Ahmedabad.
Accordingly,the state government requested Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust to spare a portion of their land adjoining Sabarmati river bank for Desais cremation.