‘Will sing Vande Mataram’: Shivraj Chouhan after Kamal Nath puts it on hold
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s decision to discontinue the 13-year-old practice of singing Vande Mataram at the state secretariat on the first working day of every month has had the BJP fuming.
There was no official order or word from the chief minister, any minister or official till late on Tuesday night as to why Vande Mataram was not sung at the state secretariat earlier in the day.
Only speculations did the rounds among government employees at Vallabh Bhavan that the programme was not held after a verbal order from the general administration department (GAD).
An angry Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the former BJP chief minister, in a series of tweets offered his services to Congress to teach it the national song. He also said if Congress felt ashamed about singing it he would sing it along with people at state secretariat premises.
“Vande Mataram is synonymous with patriotism. It is a mantra which was recited by the hundreds of sons of Mother India who faced British’s bullets and sacrificed their lives (during the freedom struggle).”
Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said he will sing Vande Mataram along with other 108 BJP legislators at the state secretariat on the first day of the assembly session on January 7.
While BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal called the Congress party anti-national, the district BJP unit in Bhopal said party workers will sing the national song at Vallabh Bhavan on Wednesday morning.
Without mentioning Chouhan’s name but asking the BJP not to play politics on Vande Mataram, chief minister Kamal Nath said on Tuesday night that singing of the song was deferred and a decision taken to implement it in a new form later.
“Neither has this decision been taken under any agenda nor are we opposed to the singing of Vande Mataram. Vande Mataram is deep-rooted in our hearts and we also sing the song from time to time. We will resume it but in a different form,” said Kamal Nath in a statement issued by state Congress media coordinator Narendra Saluja.
“Singing Vande Mataram just for a day doesn’t reflect any person’s patriotism. It’s wrong to link Vande Mataram singing just for a day with patriotism or nationalism. Are those who don’t sing Vande Mataram, not patriots?” he asked.
The Congress ended the BJP’s rule last month in Madhya Pradesh along with two other Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Before that, Chouhan ruled the state for 15 years.
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