Delhi government apologised on Thursday after its advertisements published in major newspapers to commemorate Constitution Day quoted an earlier version of the Preamble that omitted the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’, triggering a controversy.
“The chief minister has taken a stern view of the matter and has directed the Director of Information and Publicity to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within four days,” a government statement said.
Officials said the DIP director has been asked to ascertain how such important components of the Preamble went missing from the text. The inquiry will focus on whether some mischief was involved in this matter, the statement said.
The Centre and the states have gone all out to celebrate the first Constitution Day to mark the occasion when the Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. It came into force on January 26, 1950, India’s Republic Day.
The two words were not a part of the original Preamble of the Constitution but were introduced through the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act in 1976.
The episode is an embarrassment for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party that had criticised the NDA government at the Centre when a similar mistake was spotted in official advertisements on Republic Day earlier this year.
The Opposition had piled on the BJP, saying the omission indicated a clear agenda by the NDA against India’s secular fabric, the charges coming in the backdrop of a controversial conversion programme of Ghar Wapsi by Hindu groups.