Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in the Union Budget, allocated Rs 100 crore for creating a National War Memorial in New Delhi. Announcing this while presenting his first general budget in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Jaitley, who is also the Defence Minister, said a national war memorial as well as a war museum will come up at Princess Park next to India Gate.
The allotment of funds for the much-awaited memorial is being seen as a step forward in fulfilling the poll promise — “A war memorial to recognise and honour the gallantry of our soldiers” — the BJP had made in its Lok Sabha election manifesto.
During the budget speech, Jaitley said the country is deeply indebted to the officers and jawans of the armed forces for having made huge sacrifices to defend its honour. “In doing so, a very large number of them gave up their lives. It is a privilege for the nation to erect a befitting memorial in their memory,” he said.
While the forces has welcomed the decision to set up a war memorial, the minister’s announcement of setting it up at Princess Park has caused some confusion among the serving officials as well as ex-servicemen groups who have been pressing for a war memorial at India Gate.