Rajasthan orders Upadhyay photo alongside national emblem on official letter pads
Congress terms move ‘illegal’ and ‘not good for democracy’, says Bharatiya Jana Sangh ideologue never held a constitutional postjaipur Updated: Dec 15, 2017 20:31 IST
A Rajasthan government move to use the photo of Deendayal Upadhyay, a former president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the then political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), as logo on all official letters has evoked a sharp reaction from the Opposition Congress, which termed it “illegal” and “not good for democracy”.
In a circular issued on December 11, the printing and general administration department has directed all government departments, corporations, boards and local self bodies to use a logo of Upadhyaya on their respective letter heads.
“For existing letter pads, appropriate stickers of the size of the logo of Pandit Deendayal Upadhay should be used and for the letter pads that will be printed in the future, it should be ensured that the logo is printed on them,” reads the circular.
The circular, addressed to all additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries, secretaries, department heads, divisional commissioners and district collectors, has asked them to ensure “immediate execution” of the directive. A copy of the letter is also marked to chairpersons and secretaries of all boards, corporations and local self bodies.
The directive comes just over two months after year-long birth centenary celebrations of the Jana Sangh ideologue, kicked off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24 last year, concluded.
The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, decried the Rajasthan government circular. “The government is imposing (this for) publicity of their party leader. Upadhyay was their party leader. He was not a President of India or Prime Minister or a freedom fighter. We have no issues if they (BJP) believe in him but using his photo on government letters alongside Ashok Stambh is unjustified and not good for democracy,” said Rameshwar Dudi, Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan assembly.
“We will protest against this move in the state assembly,” he added.
Congress state president Sachin Pilot said, “Using Upadhyay’s (photo as) logo (on official letterheads) is absolutely incorrect and illegal. He never held any Constitutional post. We will challenge the move politically and individually.”
The former MP said that it was a tragedy that the BJP was “laying more focus on symbolic appeasement” than on the state of affairs in Rajasthan.
HT had earlier reported how RSS icons such as Veer Savarkar, Upadhyay, and Syama Prasad Mookerjee have been prominently featured in the revised textbooks published by the Rajasthan education board.
Earlier, Uttarakhand, another BJP ruled state, had announced to use the photo and logo of Upadhyay in its offices, publicity and promotional materials.
First Published: Dec 15, 2017 20:30 IST