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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Jairam Ramesh moves privilege motion against Culture minister

BJP leader and former MP Tarun Vijay, who was also the editor of RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya for several years, was appointed as the chairperson of NMA in 2019.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: November 12, 2021 4:37:13 am
Jairam Ramesh (right) has objected to the appointment of ex-BJP MP Tarun Vijay as the chairperson of the National Monuments Authority. (File Photos)

Senior Congress leader and the party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh, on Thursday wrote to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, objecting to the appointment of the chairperson of the National Monuments Authority (NMA), which operates under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture.

In the letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, while citing The Ancient Monuments and Archacological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010, that the Parliament had passed in March 2010, Ramesh objected to the appointment by saying that the “educational and professional background does not, in any way whatsoever, meet the requirements of law”.

“Section 20F says the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute an Authority to be called as the National Monuments Authority. The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson, on a whole-time basis, to be appointed by the President, having proven experience and expertise in the field of archaeology, country and town planning architecture, heritage, conservation architecture or law,” Ramesh said.

He added, “For the first time, I find that the Government of India has appointed a chairperson whose educational and professional background does not, in any way whatsoever, meet the requirements of law as stipulated mandatorily by Parliament. That the appointee is a former MP is irrelevant and makes no difference whatsoever.”

BJP leader and former MP Tarun Vijay, who was also the editor of RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya for several years, was appointed as the chairperson of NMA in 2019.

Citing a violation of the rules, Ramesh said that he would move a privilege motion against Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy. “I would like to move a privilege motion against the Union Minister of Culture in this regard for wilfully disregarding the provisions of law passed by Parliament. He has, in fact, made a mockery of this law,” he said in the letter.

NMA was established in 2010 and was helmed by Himanshu Prabha Ray and Susmita Pande as its chairperson before Vijay took over. “The first two chairpersons were both noted academics with solid credentials,” Ramesh said.

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