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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Goa: Opposition parties slam BJP for ‘removing’ Ram Manohar Lohia’s statue, memorial plaque from Margao maidan

The Goa State Urban Development Agency, the body that is executing the renovation of the Maidan, however, said that the statues were kept in safe custody.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
September 4, 2021 11:52:13 am
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat had visited the location on Friday. (Twitter/Digambar Kamat)

Opposition leaders in Goa slammed the ruling BJP government on Friday, alleging that the statues of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and the Martyrs Memorial were “missing” from the Ram Manohar Lohia maidan in Margao that is currently under renovation.

“This incident exposes BJP’s fake nationalism. I demand Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant take immediate note and ensure that the statue and the memorial are traced and secured,” the Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said. He added, “You cannot insult our top leaders in the guise of a beautification plan.”

The Goa State Urban Development Agency, the body that is executing the renovation of the Maidan, however, said that the statues were kept in safe custody.

Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai said that what was happening in Goa was similar to what had happened in Chhapra, Bihar. “In Bihar, they had dropped the names of Jayprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia from the school curriculum. Jayprakash Narayan University was renamed and Nitish Kumar himself had condemned this act. The BJP does not give due respect to socialist leaders,” Sardesai added.

Kamat, the MLA from Margao, had visited the location on Friday. “The BJP government feels that everything has happened in India only after 2014. They have tried to destroy historical places. I am shocked to see that the statues of Ram Manohar Lohia and the Martyrs Memorial are missing from Lohia Maidan,” he said.

The GSUDA, too, condemned the move and said in a statement: “GSUDA requests the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) to make arrangements to keep the statue in their possession temporarily till the work is completed. However, MMC vide letter dated 9/8/21 informed that there is no space available in the council and hence, requested GSUDA to shift the statue within the premises.”

A GSUDA official told The Indian Express that it has now sought space from the Mormugao Municipal Council to keep the statue. The official added that both the statue and the memorial plaque had been “covered properly with plastic” and kept safely at the contractor’s office in Verna.

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