Bill that removes Congress President from Jallianwala Bagh trust introduced in Lok Sabha

Published: Jul 08, 2019, 15:47 IST | ANI

A bill that stops the automatic nomination of the President of the Indian National Congress to the Jallianwala Bagh Trust was introduced in Lok Sabha

Bill that removes Congress President from Jallianwala Bagh trust introduced in Lok Sabha
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A bill that seeks to do away with the automatic nomination of the President of the Indian National Congress (INC) to the Jallianwala Bagh Trust was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The move to introduce the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was vehemently opposed by Congress with its leader Shashi Tharoor urging the government not to betray history and the heritage by removing the Congress President citing the grand old party's long association with the trust.

Introducing the Bill, Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel said the Bill was passed in the 16th Lok Sabha but could not be passed in Rajya Sabha.

"I will respond to every issue raised by members during the debate on the Bill," he said pointing out that the Congress President has been a trustee since last 45-50 years. The Bill amends the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951.

Under the 1951 Act, the Trustees of the Memorial include the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the President of the Indian National Congress, the Minister in-charge of Culture, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the Governor of Punjab, the Chief Minister of Punjab and three eminent persons nominated by the Central government.

The current bill seeks to do away with the automatic nomination of the President of the Indian National Congress as a Trustee. Further, it clarifies that when there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha then the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha will be the Trustee.

The Centre's move comes in the centenary commemoration of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre which is being observed by the Centre.

The Act provides that the three eminent persons nominated by the central government will have a term of five years and will be eligible for re-nomination. However, the Bill adds a provision to allow the central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of his term without assigning any reason.

The Modi government had attempted to get the Bill for the same through at the near end of its first tenure, passing it in Lok Sabha in February 2019. However, the Rajya Sabha did not pass the Bill amid strong opposition from the Congress party and it, therefore, lapsed with the 16th Lok Sabha.

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