Vij rakes up stadium re-naming issue, courts controversy again

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2015 22:58 IST

Raking up afresh the issue of renaming sports complexes and stadiums named after Congress leaders, Haryana sports minister Anil Vij on Friday sent his recommendation to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Parisar (sports complexes) as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Khel Parisar.

After sending his recommendation to Khattar, Vij tweeted: "Rajiv Gandhi khel parisar ka naam badal kar shaheed bhagat singh khel parisar rakhne bare CM ko sifarish bheji (Have sent a recommendation to chief minister to change the name of Rajiv Gandhi sports complexes to Bhagat Singh sports complexes)".

Reacting sharply on the development, Haryana Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Kiran Choudhry said Vij seemed to be in a habit of raking up controversies and that he could not rest without it.

"If the ruling BJP would do it (accept Vij's proposal), it would be setting a very bad precedent before the country and the entire nation would be in a state of chaos. Every ruling political party would attempt to erase the history of the previous governments… and it would be a state of chaos''.

She further said, "If the BJP wants to do something positive it should name its own complexes after freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh instead of erasing history of the already existing ones".

"I would only advise Vij to do some valuable and positive work instead of whipping up controversies and denigrate the memory of great leaders like Rajiv Gandhi who had laid down his life for the country,'' she added.

Notably, Vij had raised this issue in the budget session of the Haryana assembly, causing uproar in the House.

Not only had the Congress legislators staged a walkout from the House in protest against the Vij's proposal, but also submitted a memorandum to the state governor in this regard. The protesters included Kiran Choudhry, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and former speaker Kuldeep Sharma.

The Congress MLAs got agitated over what they termed as insult to the national leaders by the Vij and agriculture minister OP Dhankar.

Vij had remarked that the Congress was an offspring of Bristishers (AO Hume founded Congress in 1885) while Dhankar had said in the House that the Congress leaders had taught the country that only Gandhi-Nehru family had fought the freedom struggle.

Dhankar had even jibed: "You fly from Indira Gandhi airport and get down at Rajiv Gandhi airport… was it what the country was all about?" Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala had also said in the House that the previous Congress government had changed the name of two units of Panipat power plant named after his grandfather and deputy prime minister Devi Lal.

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