Slamming the Modi government decision to give a contract to a private firm for maintenance of the Red Fort, the Congress on Saturday charged the Modi Government with ''bartering away the symbol of freedom movement like Red Fort to his corporate friends for maintenance''.
Modi govt bartering away symbols of freedom movement to his corporate friends: Cong
The party said a government that did not have Rs 5 crore even for upkeep of the symbol of the country's sovereignty and nationhood had no right to continue in the power even for a day.
Talking to reporters here, AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala said, '' I can you barter out the ultimate symbol of India's prestige, glory and freedom movement from where for 70 years every Prime Minister has addressed the nation, for that is the symbol of our glory, that is the symbol of our sovereignty and that is the symbol of our nationhood. Can you barter away the symbol of your nationhood for sake of Rs 5 crore to a corporate sector entity?''
Calling it a ''sad letter day for India'', he said, ''Prime Minister and Modi Government are now bartering away the symbol of freedom movement like Red Fort to his corporate friends for maintenance. Does Prime Minister Modi even know or understand that Red Fort is a symbol of India's national freedom movement. Does the BJP understand that every brick and mortar that every particle of dust in the Red Fort symbolizes the sacrifice of millions and millions of our country men who fought the Britishers and before that many other forces. Does BJP which only believes in pseudo and fake nationalism not have Rs 5 crore a year for maintenance of the Red Fort? Does Modi ji believe that even Rs 5 crore has to be borrowed from his corporate friends?''
Mr Surjewala said the decision of the government would pave way for turning Red fort into a means of l earnings.
''Now a Corporate entity will be permitted to put its own sign boards and signages on the Red Fort ? Does Prime Minister know that the corporate entity would now be charging money from ordinary Indians for even entering the Red Fort ? Does he even understand, does the BJP Government understand that the Red Fort now will be open for commercial functions by payment of a fee ? Is it an entertainment place or a symbol of India's glory ?
"Does he know that most freedom fighters from Mahatama Gandhi, from Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, from even Shaheed Bhagat Singh and others, at many different times, were tried by the British right in this Red Fort. Does he even understand that even the 1857 struggle of Independence of India, where Bahadur Shah Zafar from Red Fort, Rani Jhansi, from Tantia Tope and many-many others from other different nooks and corner of the country, Red Fort became a symbol of Britishers oppression and rising of India in unison.
"It is unfortunate, it is deeply distressing and deeply disturbing that Modi Ji and BJP Government are now bartering away India's first national monument of India's freedom struggle only for Rs 5 crore of maintenance. A Government that does not have Rs 5 crore even for upkeep of the symbol of our sovereignty and nationhood has no right to continue in the Government even for a day.''
Earlier this week, Dalmia Group had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Tourism to adopt the iconic Mughal-era monument for the next five years at a cost of Rs 25 crore. As per the agreement, the corporate giant would build basic infrastructure around the monument and maintain it.