In what is described as a controversial move by many, a statue of the Delhi and District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) former president Arun Jaitley was unveiled on Monday at its premises in the memory of the late administrator and political figure.
The life-size statue of Jaitley was unveiled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the ceremony which was attended by BCCI President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, India opener Shikhar Dhawan, ex India opener Gautam Gambhir, who is also a BJP MP from Delhi, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla and Union Minister Hardeep Puri.
“Arun was like an elder brother to me. He was known for his sportsmanship spirit in political circle. He remained aggressive in his speeches but never lowered the dignity of the Parliament,” Shah said in his tribute to Jaitley, who remained DDCA President for 13 years.
“Arun always put his own interest at the back, never sought publicity and rose during the Emergency days when he spent 19 months in jail. His political journey started then. He was multi-talented and fulfilled a range of responsibilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi had severely criticised the DDCA for choosing to install the statue of an administrator instead of an inspirational cricketer. He also demanded that his name be removed from one of the stands at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.
Ganguly on the other hand said Jaitley’s contribution was immense in the development of cricket in Delhi, though the DDCA has been in “turmoil” for some time.
Jaitley, who held key portfolios of finance and defence in the central government, died last year due to multiple heart issues.