Lodha has been demanding the demolition of the bungalow for construction of a cultural centre in its place.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha has lauded people for celebrating Gudi Padwa by hoisting Gudi at the entrance of Jinnah House, where Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah lived prior to the partition of India. They also performed puja of gudi. Jinnah House is situated in Malabar Hill sprawling over an area of 2.5 acres in south Mumbai. The current market value of the property is approximately Rs 2,000 crore. Lodha has been demanding the demolition of the bungalow for construction of a cultural centre in its place. He also had raised this issue in the Maharashtra state assembly.
“Whoever had celebrated Gudi Padwa outside Jinnah House has taken a good initiative. Jinnah House is a symbol of India’s partition and such property must be demolished. The conspiracy to divide India was planned there. As per the Enemy Property Act, it has become the government’s property,” said Lodha.
Jinnah had constructed this house in the year 1936 at a cost of Rs 2 lakh. The historic meeting between Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi had happened in this residence. Jinnah had stayed in the House till partition of India in 1947 and later on he shifted to Karachi in Pakistan. Jinnah House is maintained by the state Public Works Department.
According to the area residents, a group of people from various organisations hoisted ‘Gudi’, the festival symbol at around 8am and offered prayers.
The sprawling mansion, opposite Maharashtra Chief Minister’s official bungalow, has been lying vacant for long. In 1949, the government of India notified Jinnah House as evacuee property.
Parliament recently passed the Enemy Property Bill, 2016 which says successors of those who migrated to Pakistan during Partition will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.
According to Lodha, after the passage of the Enemy Property Act, Jinnah’s heirs cannot stake claim to the Jinnah house.
“The structure should be demolished and a cultural centre highlighting Maharashtra’s culture and pride should be built. The cultural centre should also exhibit the glorious history of India,” Lodha said.
Jinnah was Pakistan’s first governor-general until his death. He is revered in the neighbouring country as Qayid-i-Azam and Baba-i-Qaum. He passed away on September 11, 1948, at the age of 71.