‘Will they change Bharat to BJP?': Kejriwal’s sharp reaction on G20 invite row | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Will they change Bharat to BJP?': Arvind Kejriwal’s sharp reaction on G20 invite row

Sep 05, 2023 09:03 PM IST

Delhi CM raised incisive questions on representing President as ‘President of Bharat’ and not as ‘President of India’ in official G20 dinner invites.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday gave an incisive response to the row over the use of ‘President of Bharat’ in place of the traditional ‘President of India’ in the official dinner invitation of foreign dignitaries to the upcoming G20 Summit. The Aam Aadmi Party convenor asked whether the ruling party in the Centre would change the country's name to ‘BJP’ if the Opposition alliance decides to call itself ‘Bharat’.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal(HT_PRINT)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal(HT_PRINT)

Drawing parallels with I.N.D.I.A., the name given to the recently-formed Opposition coalition, Kejriwal questioned the rationale behind changing the name from India to Bharat in the invitation.

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Also read: ‘Bharat that is India’: G20 booklets that talk about country's democratic history, 8,000- year-old civilisation

"I have no official information that this (a name change) is happening. Just because many opposition parties have formed an alliance and called it INDIA, will the Centre change the name of the country? The country belongs to 140 crore people, not to one party. If the name of the alliance is changed to Bharat, will they change the name of Bharat to BJP?" he asked at a press conference. AAP is a member of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc.

The Delhi CM further termed the move as ‘treason’ and alleged that BJP resorted to such changes because it is afraid of the alliance. "What a joke is this!? This is our country. We have an ancient culture," he added.

He said BJP diverted people's attention with its one nation, one election plank, after the Opposition parties first announced the alliance. "How will it benefit people? How will it benefit you, and your family? Will it lead to a reduction in price rise, unemployment?" he reiterated his questions.

The row erupted after Congress on Tuesday raised concerns over the invitation sent to the foreign dignitaries referring President as ‘President of Bharat’ and not India.

Congress leaders including Jairam Ramesh, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor and KC Venugopal took to X (formerly Twitter) and shared a snapshot of an invite alleged to be released by the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

“So the news is indeed true. Rashtrapati Bhawan has sent out an invite for a G20 dinner on Sept 9th in the name of 'President of Bharat' instead of the usual 'President of India'. Now, Article 1 in the Constitution can read: ‘Bharat, that was India’, shall be a Union of States. But now even this ‘Union of States’ is under assault,” Ramesh said.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha echoed similar views and asserted that "our national identity" is not "BJP's personal property."

"The BJP's recent move to change the reference from 'President of India' to 'President of Bharat' on official G20 summit invitations has raised eyebrows and ignited a public debate. How can the BJP strike down 'INDIA'? The country doesn't belong to a political party, it belongs to 135 crore Indians. Our national identity is not the BJP's personal property that it can modify on whims and fancies, Judega Bharat Jeetega INDIA," he said in a post on X.

Several BJP leaders in the past have raised demands for changing the name 'India' to 'Bharat'.

In the recently concluded Monsoon Session, BJP MP Naresh Bansal in the Rajya Sabha had said that the name 'India' is a symbol of "colonial slavery" and should be removed from the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court earlier refused to hear a plea seeking a name change from India to Bharat.

(With agency inputs)

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