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Sonia resigns as Chairperson of Jallianwala Bagh Trust

Written by: Staff
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Amritsar, Apr 5 (UNI) After her resignation from the National Advisory Committee (NAC) and from the Lok Sabha in the aftermath of the 'office-of profit' controversy, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has resigned as Chairperson of the prestigious Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust.

The resignation letter was received through fax by the trust secretary, Mr S K Mukherjee here yeterday. Another copy of the letter was also faxed to the Punjab Governor who is a member of the Trust.

Mrs Gandhi was appointed the Chairperson of the Trust in 1999 when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.

The appointment of Mrs Gandhi then came in for a lot of criticism per the rules the Prime Minister of the country has always been the Chairman/Chairperson of the Trust. According to the rules the Congress President along with the Punjab Governor and Chief Minister are members of the Trust.

Other members of the Trust include the local Lok Sabha member and MLA besides the Human Resource Development Minister, the Union minister of Cultural affairs and a few other prominent people and freedom fighters. Mr Mukherjee a local resident has been serving as secretary of the Trust for the last two decades or so.

When Mrs Gandhi was appointed Chairperson, the Lok Sabha member from Amritsar was senior Congress leader R L Bhatia who is currently the Governor of Kerala. Mr Bhatia was considered instrumental in appointing Mrs Gandhi as Chairperson in place of the then PM, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.

A press release then circulated personally to mediapersons here by Mr Mukherjee had claimed that Mrs Gandhi was appointed as Chairperson following a meeting of the Trust members held in New Delhi then. However the then Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal had denied that any such meeting took place.

The Trust was formed by India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and its task was to build a suitable national memorial for the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of April 13, 1919.

Even after the memorial was erected the trust continued to function and from time to time came out with proposals for improving the memorial.

UNI HS SC RN1417

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