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Vande Mataram to be mandatory: BJP

Rajnath Singh asks all BJP-ruled states to make singing of the national song mandatory.

india Updated: Sep 02, 2006 11:27 IST

Upping the ante amid the ongoing controversy over the Vande Mataram in its centenary year, the BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday instructed the chief ministers of all five party-ruled states to make singing of the national song mandatory in all educational institutions.

"The country feels betrayed by the Congress-led government's yet another appeasement policy by rescinding their earlier decision of compulsory recitation of the national song in all educational institutions," said Singh.

The party is in power in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has already announced that singing of the song will be mandatory in all educational institutions of the state, including madrassas.

The BJP chief has directed all its state units to recite Vande Mataram at state and district headquarters of the party September 7 to mark the centenary of the song's recitation at the Indian National Congress' Calcutta Session.

It was also announced that the party's national executive meeting beginning on the same day in Dehradun would begun its deliberations with the recital of the national song.

The party's minority wing has sought permission from Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee for reciting the national song next to Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Parliament complexSeptember 5.

A controversy erupted after a section of Muslims objected to the singing of Vande Mataram as they said it conflicted with their religious beliefs.

First Published: Sep 02, 2006 11:27 IST