NEW DELHI: TDP MPs, who approached Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar again during the Winter Session requesting her to take a decision on the issue of NTR’s bust, were told by her to settle the issue first among the family members and convey the majority opinion to her. And they had been relentlessly pressing for the installation of NTR’s bust.
“They had been meeting Madam Speaker almost every session pressing for their demands. A delegation had come to meet her early this month again demanding the same. Now the matter has been settled in their favour,’’ said an official in the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
The TDP presented the signatures of majority of the family members and the Speaker has given a ruling in the TDP’s favour. This was corroborated by the party’s Lok Sabha leader M V Mysora Reddy. “We had met the Speaker recently and showed her the signatures of the family members and she told us that steps would be initiated to install the statue contributed by the TDP at the earliest,’’ he said, adding, the Speaker had also given sanction to install the bust of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju inside the Parliament complex.
“What claim does a Congress minister have on NTR who opposed Congress all through his life? Purandeshwari might be that great man’s daughter but political relation is thicker than blood relations,’’ said a TDP member. According to him, the representation made by the party along with the letters from family members changed the speaker’s mind and she gave a ruling in TDP’s favour. So finally, son-in-law won the case at the expense of daughter.
But this decision has got the Secretariat staff worried as they are finding it tough to find a suitable space for the busts of NTR and Alluri, as the Parliament House Complex is quite crowded with around 50 statues and 100-plus portraits inside the premises. “The complex is bursting at seams with all these statues and a high- powered committee headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had last year decided that no more statues would be allowed inside the complex in future anymore,’’ said the official.
Most former speakers, including P A Sangma and Somnath Chatterjee, had been against the installation of statues. Chatterjee had banned installing new portraits in the Central Hall in 2004 itself and started a new portrait gallery in the library building of Parliament for this purpose.
“There is virtually no space in the main building. So space has to be created either inside the library complex or in the lawns,’’ said the official.