NEW DELHI: The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund (JNMF), chaired by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, has been asked to vacate the Teen Murti complex by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Set up in 1964, the JNMF was told to pack up by September 24 through a notice served to them on September 11. JNMF secretary Suman Dubey contested the ministry’s claims in his response to the notice on September 20.
The activities of the JNMF include giving scholarships and fellowships across a range of disciplines and arranging annual memorial lecture on the eve of Nehru’s birthday.
JNMF vice chairperson Karan Singh called the ministry’s eviction notice outrageous. “The fund was involved in setting up the museum and passing on invaluable materials to the museum - files, photographs and selected works. Suddenly they say we are unauthorised. We are taking necessary steps to safeguard our position. It has been a symbiotic relationship between the museum and the fund. How can they suddenly turn up and say and you have to pay charges since 1960s?” said Singh.
However, Shakti Sinha, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Director, claimed the JNMF was indeed unauthorised as it lacked proper documentation. “Currently, the library is overcrowded. We plan to construct a three-storeyed building on that spot where the administration offices and non-library activities will be shifted. The existing building will be used for library expansion and academic purposes,” he added.
A proposal last year to construct a new museum for other prime ministers inside the Teen Murti complex had triggered a political row.