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Constitution Preamble to Remain 'Secular', 'Socialist'

Published: 25th February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: A month after the controversy over a Republic Day advertisement of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that carried a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution without the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’, the government on Tuesday clarified amid strong protest from the Opposition that “there is no proposal to change the Preamble.”

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said such mistakes happen sometimes and a similar advertisement was published in 2012 during UPA regime but the efforts should be to correct the mistakes. “I want to make it very clear to this august House and to the people of India that there is no proposal before the Government to change the Preamble, which was changed in 1976 during the Emergency by way of an amendment to the Constitution. That is the Preamble as of today. There is no question of making any changes and there is no proposal,” Venkaiah added.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Jyotiradiya Scindia pointed out that a Shiv Sena MP had suggested removal of these two words, and even Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had recently indicated a discussion on the issue.

Taking a dig at the NDA, Jyotiradiya said everybody seems to be inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who always talked about Chai Pe Charcha.

“The PM himself has said that government has only one holy book and that is our Constitution. But, on these objectionable statements made by a Minister, we need a clarification from the government,” Scindia said.

Scindia also tried to raise the issue related to a statement by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, which drew strong response from treasury benches, and led to a verbal duel between Scindia and Venkaiah.

Venkaiah, while trying to stick to the Preamble clarification, said they had a discussion with I&B Ministry after the advertisement was published and they were informed about similar practices in the past. “They said that this has been the practice. Since they have taken it (Preamble)from the Parliament Museum, it was not amended. It has now come to our notice that the original Constitution, which was signed by right from Jawaharlal Nehru to all senior leaders, did not contain this,” he added.

Direct Subsidy on Fertilisers Soon

New Delhi: The Centre is considering direct transfer of fertiliser subsidy to farmers on the lines of LPG, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar told Parliament, revealing that urea for states was being smuggled to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.  “The NDA is mulling to link the fertiliser subsidy under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme to prevent smuggling and diversion. We are having a discussion to implement the system like what we did in LPG and kerosene,” the minister said.

‘No Need of Swine flu Vaccination’

New Delhi: Maintaining that the government is monitoring the swine flu situation across the country, Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Tuesday said there was no need as of now to vaccinate the general public from swine flu. “Even though the influenza is of a seasonal nature with maximum impact during this time of the year, the morbidity and -- more important -- the mortality associated with the influenza are matters of great concern for all of us,” Nadda said.

Oppn Questions Move to Withdraw Bills

New Delhi: The united Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday scuttled the Centre’s move to withdraw three Bills, including the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 causing much embarrassment. The government wanted to withdraw The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 from the Rajya Sabha. The Opposition parties led by the Congress wanted a discussion on the Motion for Withdrawal of these Bills and questioned the intentions of the government.

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