NEW DELHI: Delhi Culture Minister Kapil Mishra today accused the Centre of "embarrassing" the country through its flip-flop on the return of Kohinoor diamond from Britain.
Mishra pointed to government's stand in the Supreme Court that the Kohinoor diamond was given to Britain as gift by erstwhile Punjab rulers and expressed surprise over the subsequent U-turn wherein it vowed to make all efforts to bring back the valuable piece.
In a letter to Union culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Mishra wondered whether the government is unaware of its own policy on a priced heritage like Kohinoor.
This comes a day after the government claimed it has not yet conveyed its views to the court "contrary to what is being misrepresented" in the media.
Although Mishra claimed that the "affidavit" filed by the Centre ran against facts, the government has maintained that it was merely an "oral statement".
"The Solicitor General of India was asked to seek the views of the government of India, which have not yet been conveyed. The Solicitor General of India informed the honourable court about the history of the diamond and gave an oral statement on the basis of the existing references made available by ASI.
"Thus, it should be reaffirmed that the government of India has not yet conveyed its views to the court, contrary to what is being misrepresented," the government has said in a release.
Mishra said,"People who are aware of the country's history are also baffled as to why the Centre is in a hurry to end India's right over the diamond forever...Today even Pakistan is claiming its right over Kohinoor and India's position will strengthen Pakistan's claim.
"This is embarrassing for the government of any country.
Is the government unaware of its own position on a priced heritage which can also be described as its national identity?."