Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today unveiled portraits of 70 eminent individuals including India’s freedom fighters, revolutionaries and heroes at the Delhi Assembly, as he criticised the “atmosphere of violence” disrupting normal life in the country. In his Republic Day address, Kejriwal said it was tough to get Independence, but seeing the current scenario in the country it seemed that maintaining that freedom is even more difficult. He said the “atmosphere of violence” is being created everywhere which is making it tough for many people to lead a normal life. “Opening more schools and hospitals to provide better education and healthcare facilities, bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, developing infrastructure is real patriotism,” he said. Addressing the gathering, the chief minister said traders, farmers and labourers are unhappy because of the circumstances. “In this scenario doing business is becoming tough. No country can progress if it lacks peace. Maintaining peace and harmony is the first job of any government. Divisive forces work against the country,” he said. A total of 70 portraits, including those of Ashfaqulla Khan, Bhagat Singh, Birsa Munda, Rani Chennamma, Subhas Chandra Bose and Tipu Sultan, will be put up in galleries of the Delhi assembly.
These portraits are two-and-a-half feet long, and one-and-a-half feet wide mentioning the description of the personality in brief and their contribution towards the nation. But putting up Tipu Sultan’s portrait in the Assembly has been a point of contention. BJP MLAs have opposed the inclusion of Tipu Sultan’s portrait, with party legislator Om Prakash Sharma saying the Delhi Assembly should refrain from putting up the portrait of a controversial personality. The opposition, however, did not go down well with Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel, who said the BJP leaders “always try to create controversy on any issue”. “I want to tell them (BJP) that the Constitution of India also carries a picture of Tipu Sultan on its page number 144. So, either the people, who fought British to free the country and wrote this Constitution, were ‘Gaddaar’ (traitor) or they (BJP) are the ones,” Goel said. He said the BJP should leave this “cheap” politics and work for development.