Senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy has faulted the government for its plan to shift and replace the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Secunderabad and said it has a history that should be preserved rather than destroyed.
In a letter to Animal Husbandary Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, he said the statue was erected in memory of Mahatma Gandhi for travelling through the area after disembarking at the James Street railway station during the Independence struggle.
The statue was donated by the then Paradise theatre owner, the late Thodupunuri Anjayya Goud and is said to be the first statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the world. Recognising this, the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru himself unveiled the statue in 1951. It was specially made in Italy with panchalohas and even after 70 years, the statue remains intact.
Unfortunately, that is being now tampered with in the name of beautification. Mr. Reddy said Congress did not oppose the beautifucation but will not agree to replacing the statue with such a rich history.
Mr. Shashidhar Reddy said Minister Srinivas Yadav had misled the people with confusing statements on contacting Mr. Goud’s family members to shift the statute. The government could have contacted Mr. Goud’s grandson and Tripura High Court Judge T. Amarnath Goud at least.
Mr. Reddy appealed to the government not to attempt to move the existing statue and also avoid the idea of putting a second statue. “There is no need to extend the area. Go ahead with beautification and we will wholeheartedly welcome it,” he said in a letter to the Minister.