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Parliament passes bill to remove Congress President as the permanent member of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust

The government said the bill "seeks to make apolitical" the trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial.

The Parliament on Tuesday has passed the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to remove the Congress president as a trustee of the memorial.

According to the reports, the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill 2019, paving the way for the removal of the Congress president as a permanent member of the Trust that runs the memorial. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill on August 2.

The new bill has deleted the provision that makes the sitting president of the Indian National Congress as a permanent member of the trust. The bill has also added a new clause to include the Leader of Opposition or the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha to be a member of the trust.

The government said the bill “seeks to make apolitical” the trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial. The bill also has an added clause that allows the central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of his term without assigning any reason.

Read: No taxes paid for Anand Bhavan: Prayagraj authorities send 4.35 crores notice to Nehru Memorial Fund

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel said this bill will end the political colour which the trust earlier had. He attacked the opposition parties by stating that they had no problem with other provisions of the bill, but only with the one in which the Congress president was being removed as a trustee.

“As we remember 100 years of Jalliawalan Bagh massacre, it is necessary to build Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial as National Memorial in true sense. These amendments will make this Memorial a National Monument in the true spirit,” Patel was quoted as saying in a government statement.

Slamming the Congress party, Minister Patel said the party was “playing with the rules and regulations of the trust. “I just wanted to ask as how many cheques the Congress party has given to the memorial,” he said.

Read: Remembering Udham Singh, the brave heart who avenged Jallianwala Bagh massacre

He said Punjab Chief Minister would be in the trust and through him, the Congress party would have its representation. Reportedly, former governor RL Bhatia, Member of Parliament from Amritsar, two MLAs of Amritsar, the mayor of the city, Punjab Culture Minister and the Chairman, Improvement Board Amritsar will be part of the management committee of the trust.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa urged the government to show large-heartedness. It was time that the government showed “magnanimity” and recognised the Congress party’s contribution to the freedom struggle, he said.

“There is no need to rewrite history,” Bajwa said, adding that the relationship between Jallianwala Bagh and Congress party cannot be separated.

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