BHOPAL: The row over the 13-year-old practice of state government employees singing the national song, Vande Mataram, at the state secretariat in Bhopal on the first day of every month not being followed on the first day of 2019 is becoming a big political issue in Madhya Pradesh.
A day after the development drew sharp reactions from the opposition BJP, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that he, along with 108 legislators of the party, will sing the national song in the Vallabh Bhawan premises at 10 am on January 7. He invited commoners to join him on the occasion. The first session of the new Vidhan Sabha is slated to start on January 7.
BJP national president Amit Shah tweeted on Wednesday that the Congress was converting India’s heart Madhya Pradesh into the centre of appeasement. In a related Facebook post, Shah asked his Congress counterpart Rahul Gandhi to make his stand on the issue clear. In Bhopal, a group of BJP workers sang the national song on Wednesday morning at a park near the state secretariat in a symbolic protest against Tuesday’s development. The Congress reacted sharply to the ex-CM’s statements on the issue.
Senior party leader NS Saluja, who is the media convener of CM Kamal Nath, said that after losing the polls, the BJP and its leaders, including the ex-CM, were politicising the issue to gain lost political ground.
“Our CM Kamal Nath has made it clear that just like any other Indian, the national song Vande Mataram is deep-rooted in every Congress worker’s psyche. He has also said that in future we’ll give a new form to the rendition of Vande Mataram,” said Saluja.