Those who disrespected Bhagat Singh, unveiled Savarkar's portrait in Parliament, targetting me now, alleges Kerala Speaker

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Kerala Speaker MB Rajesh (Photo: Rajesh's Twitter handle)
Kerala Speaker MB Rajesh (Photo: Rajesh's Twitter handle)

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], August 24 (ANI): Kerala Speaker MB Rajesh, on Tuesday alleged that those who disrespected Bhagat Singh and instead unveiled Veer Savarkar's portrait in Central Hall of Parliament were now targeting him.

Rajesh had recently courted controversy with his bid to equate Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji, a key figure in the 1921 Malabar Rebellion to Bhagat Singh.

"Some have accused me of comparing the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji. The sudden love and respect that some have for Bhagat Singh is astonishing. Since when has Bhagat Singh been revered by those who are now making a controversy?" Rajesh said.

Further, he said, "On March 23, 2017, on the day of Bhagat Singh's martyrdom, I made a demand in the Indian Parliament that the Chandigarh airport should be named after Bhagat Singh, the great freedom fighter and martyr. It was supported by MPs from Punjab as a whole and several members from various parties from other states. Only members of one party remained silent."

"There was a reason for that demand. I demanded that the name of Bhagat Singh be given on the basis of a newspaper report that the Central Government was planning to give the Chandigarh airport the name of a person who was not at all deserving and had no role in the freedom struggle," he claimed.

Slamming the central government, he said, "They were not listening to that demand then. I still do not know if the airport in Chandigarh was named after Bhagat Singh. Will my four-year-old demand that the airport in Bhagat Singh's hometown be named after him, be met? Let us see how much respect there is for Bhagat Singh," he said in a Facebook post.

Further, Rajesh claimed that the statue of Bhagat Singh was erected in the Indian Parliament by following a letter issued by Left leader Mohammad Salim when he was a member of the Rajya Sabha.

"In 1998, when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government came to power, Savarkar's (Vinayak Damodar Savarkar) portrait was unveiled in the Central Hall of Parliament itself. When the first UPA government came to power in 2004, Mohammad Salim was in the Lok Sabha. He again wrote a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee demanding this. The Parliamentary Committee then discussed the matter and Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and the Parliamentary Committee approved the request of Mohammad. This is how the statue of Bhagat Singh was erected in the Parliament premises. Bhagat Singh was disrespected by those who had written and honoured Savarkar in Parliament. Not me," he said.

Rajesh added that he had also raised the issue of the neglect of the Jallianwala Bagh Martyrs' Memorial and the suspension of the light and sound show to lack of funds.

"Everyone knows that I worked and grew up through a youth organization called DYFI. Let me remind you of one more historical fact. In 1980, two people were present throughout the DYFI's founding conference in Ludhiana. Shiv Verma and Pandit Kishori Lal. Both are close associates and colleagues of Bhagat Singh and have been in jail with Bhagat Singh. I grew up as part of a movement that embraced the legacy of Bhagat Singh. I also remember going to Bhagat Singh's birthplace in Khatkar Kalan and attending the Martyrs' Day celebrations in his hometown as an exciting experience in my life," he added. (ANI)

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