Union minister for Tourism & Culture Mahesh Sharma alloted APJ Abdul Kalam’s bungalow

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Mahesh Sharma
Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma

The centre recently allotted, 10 Rajaji Marg, residence to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, for 8 long years, to Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma. Sharma is the same minister, who had recently remarked that Dr Kalam was a “nationalist and humanist despite being a Muslim.”

Post the announcement by the centre, Dr Kalam’s family has moved out of his long time residence to make way for the new occupants.

Friends and supporters of the ‘missile man of India’ have, for sometime, been requesting the centre to turn Dr Kalam’s residence into a memorial. The centre, however, responded by saying that, the bungalow has been allotted to Sharma under the Minister’s Residence Rule, 1962.

It further went on to add that as per the government’s decision, taken on 18 October, 2014, a total ban was imposed on converting a departed leader’s residence into a memorial.

The Urban Development Ministry, responsible for allocating residences to ministers, said that, unlike other ministers, who had already been allotted houses, Sharma was still in line for a residence. The ex-president’s residence, had thus been allotted to Sharma on vacation basis.

Sharma too, gave his two cents on the issue, by saying that, he had earlier been allotted 7 Tyagraj Marg, however, he could not move in as the current residents had not moved out. He further added that he has received an official accommodation after 11 months.

However, the government’s decision has received much flack from senior AAP leader, Kapil Mishra. Mishra is of the opinion that the government’s decision to establish a memorial for Dr Kalam, in his native Rameshwaram, instead of Delhi, is wrong, and that both Delhi, and Rameshwaram should have a memorial dedicate to the late ex-president.

He expressed his opinions in a series of tweets, by saying that,

Furthermore, JD(U) leader, KC Tyagi, also expressed his displeasure on the situation, by condemning the government’s decision, and is of the opinion that it should be turned into a memorial for Dr Kalam.

The late, ex-president had been allotted this bungalow in 2007, and it was his residence until his demise in July, this year. He had picked this six story bungalow as he wanted a separate floor for his study and library. This bungalow was originally home to Edward Lutyen, the architect after who designed what is known as Lutyen’s Delhi.

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