Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following public backlash over the statue of Nabakrushna Choudhury clad in trousers and a shirt in Angul, the Odisha government on Thursday decided to reconstruct the sculpture of the former Chief Minister in a proper manner. 

As per the decision by the State government, the reconstructed statue will be set up in Angul again. The statue will be constructed as per the design of Choudhury’s sculpture that has been set up in front of the State Assembly in Bhubaneswar.

Moreover, the State government will take steps for the reconstruction and recovery of Baji Rout Hostel in Angul. A high-level committee comprising eight members under the chairmanship of the Director of the Culture Department visited the hostel today for taking all necessary actions.

As per Choudhury’s daughter Krishna Mohanty and the managing committee of the hostel, discussion will be held regarding the management of the hostel and the construction of the new statue of Nabakrushna Choudhury. Angul Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain is also present in the hostel.

Amid widespread criticism over the former Chief Minister’s representation in western attire, the municipal authorities also locked the park gate. The new statue of Choudhury was met with bewilderment the moment it was unveiled, as the former Chief Minister was a staunch Gandhian. He was known for his simple lifestyle. He used to wear dhoti and khadi.

Expressing grief over the statue row of Choudhury, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The administration needs to be more sensitive and careful while installing the statue of great leaders. The repeated installation of distorted statues of Nabakrushna Choudhury has hurt people.”

(Reported by Manklal Pani)