Rahul says it with symbolism

Cong gen secy visits ‘neglected’ memorial of assasinated former CM Beant Singh.

Written by Sukhdeep Kaur | Chandigarh | Updated: April 17, 2014 6:12:08 pm

Cong gen secy visits ‘neglected’ memorial of assasinated former CM Beant Singh

Even as a controversy is raging over the raising of Operation Bluestar memorial within the Golden Temple premises in Amritsar,Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday made a symbolic gesture by paying a visit to the memorial of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh who was assassinated by terrorists in 1995.

The Sikh high priests had in June this year,on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar,bestowed the title of Zinda Shaheed (living martyr) on Balwant Singh Rajoana,convicted for Beant Singh’s assassination.

The visit took the party leadership by surprise as it was not a part of the official programme released by Delhi to the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and the deceased leader’s family was informed about it only two days back.

“A team came to inspect the memorial on Tuesday. We were informed that Rahul will pay tributes on Thursday. So we organised a small prayer meeting,” Beant’s grandson and MLA,Gurkirat Kotli said.

The memorial,which even Congress leaders in Punjab have forgotten — few came to the memorial in August to observe former CM’s death anniversary — was on Thursday buzzing with top brass of the party in the state,including PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh,Union Minister Ambika Soni,some former PPCC presidents and MPs and MLAs.

Though Rahul’s team took note of poor upkeep — no landscaping in the weed-infested lawns and incomplete library building — the Gandhi family scion paid tributes at the samandhi and left in five minutes. MP Ravneet Bittu,grandson of Beant,said he has promised to ensure funds for library and upkeep of the memorial.

Spread over seven acres of land in Sector 42 of Chandigarh,the Beant Singh Memorial and Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts is a joint project of Punjab and Chandigarh Administration.

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