Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar unveils statues of Babu Jagjivan Ram and Damodaram Sanjeevaiah
The city of Tirupati now has two prominent landmarks in the form of statues inaugurated for senior Dalit leaders.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar inaugurated the statue of her father and former Deputy Prime Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram at the park meant to be developed by the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) at Kesavayanagunta in the city. Earlier, she unveiled a statue of former Chief Minister and ex-president of AICC, Damodaram Sanjeevaiah near Shilparamam, which was developed by Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA).
Ms. Kumar hailed the two leaders for breaking the shackles of untouchability and oppression witnessed during their times and making it big in their respective domains. Heaping laurels on her father, she said, “Be it as the Defence Minister when he deftly handled the 1971 Pakistan war or ushering in the ‘Green Revolution’ as the Food Minister or in empowering the working classes as the Labour Minister, Babuji proved to be a master statesman and administrator.”
She said that Babuji had the innate talent to identify, understand and channelise innate courage and strength in the oppressed, the downtrodden and the ‘have-not’ sections of the society. She also recalled the days when Mr. Sanjeevaiah used to visit her father and discuss policy issues.
Member of Parliament Chinta Mohan hailed Babuji for ensuring social parity as enshrined in the constitution and Damodaram Sanjivaiah for launching the pension scheme in the State during his stint. Legislative Council chairman A. Chakrapani asked for more Dalits to occupy higher echelons of power, while Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah wanted social justice to be the order of the day. MLC B. Chengalrayudu, local MLA B. Karunakar Reddy and Collector Solomon Arokiaraj took part.
Offers prayers at Tirumala
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar offered prayers at the Lord Venkateswara temple on Sunday with her husband Manjul Kumar and other family members.
She was accorded a traditional reception on her arrival at the main temple complex by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) authorities and the priests and was cordially led into the sanctum sanctorum of the sacred shrine where she stood in front of the presiding deity for about ten minutes and paid her obeisance.
After the darshan, while temple priests showered Vedasirvachanams on the Speaker and her family at the ranganayakula mandapam situated inside the temple complex, TTDs chairman K. Bapiraju, Executive Officer L.V. Subramanyam presented her with a set of religious books, memento and prasadam of the deity.
Earlier, she also offered prayers at the Bhoo Varahaswamy temple as is the practise.
Prominent among those who accompanied her include Chairman of Legislative Council Chakrapani, Endowments Minister Ramachandraiah, Tirupati MP Chinta Mohan, JEO K.S. Srinivasa Raju and other officials.