Over 200 Muslim members of the BJP Minority Morcha, who have sought the permission of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to sing Vande Mataram near Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament on September 7, have now an alternative plan to sing the national song at India Gate if permission for the original venue is denied.
BJP sources said that the Minority Morcha would wait till September 5 for permission and if they will not get the Speaker's nod, the leaders and workers would march towards India Gate and sing the National Song. "Knowing fully well that we will not get the permission, party workers have worked out an alternative plan," party sources said.
BJP claims that the majority of Muslim compatriots were willing to be part of the mainstream by singing the national song "but for the exception of a few clerics in Hyderabad and Imam Bukhari of Jama Masjid." "The nation should not indulge in the worst kind of appeasement by succumbing to the blackmail of a few vested interests," the party has urged the government.
Party president Rajnath Singh has issued a circular to all BJP Chief Ministers to direct all schools and educational institutions in their states to sing the national song on September 7 to commemorate the centenary of Vande Mataram, which was first sung in the 1905 Congress Session. The Constituent Assembly had accorded it the status of National Song.
When the present Home Minister Shivraj Patil was the Lok Sabha Speaker, it was decided that the Parliament would commence its Session with the National Anthem and conclude with Vande Mataram and the practice is continuing.