Mangal Prabhat Lodha(BJP Mumbai president) has met Amit Shah(Union Home Minister) and repeated his demand to convert Jinnah House, the city-based erstwhile residence of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, into a center for art and culture. Lodha, who is also an MLA, called on Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday and handed over a letter to him containing his long-pending demand.
He later tweeted the letter which he had submitted to Shah.The BJP MLA represents the Malabar Hill constituency in south Mumbai, where the Jinnah House is located, in the Maharashtra assembly.
The Jinnah House was slated to be converted into South Asia Centre for Art and Cultural Centre. A board regarding the same was also put there. I request you to acquire the Jinnah House and convert the memories of painful partition into the Cultural Centre, he said in the letter.The BJP leader said,”Jinnah had lived in the property for ten years and conspired for the Partition of the country. Now, the property belongs to the Government of India and the house should be converted into a cultural centre,” .
Incidentally, when the then Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf visited India for the Agra Summit in 2001, he had proposed to then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to hand it over for use as Pakistan’s Consulate in Mumbai, but nothing moved in this direction.
Lodha has been pursuing the matter with the Centre for many years for a final decision on the Jinnah House, built in 1936 on a prime chunk of 2.50 acres, while Jinnah’s former home on New Delhi’s APJ Abdul Kalam Road has been leased out to a foreign embassy.
The Jinnah House was linked with several momentous events in the history of India’s Independence. It was the venue for the critical talks on India’s Partition in September 1944 between Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah, and in August 1946, Jinnah held another round of talks here with Nehru.