BJP however strongly condemned the comments made by the party leader and clarified that Vij’s comments were solely his personal opinion.
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij stirred up a controversy on Saturday by saying that replacing Mahatma Gandhi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the khadi calendar was a good move, and that Gandhi's photo would also be gradually removed from currency notes.
“Good that Mahatma Gandhi was replaced by Modi in the khadi calendar, Modi is a bigger brand name. Gandhiji's picture will also gradually be removed from currency notes,” the minister said.
Vij did not stop there and added, “Gandhi ka aisa naam hai ki jis din se note pe chhapi hai tasveer us din se note ki devaluation ho gayi (Such is the name of Gandhi that since the time his photo was printed on notes, the value of the rupee only went down)”.
The decision of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the hand-woven cloth’s renowned promoter, to feature Modi instead of Mahatma Gandhi on its 2017 diary had sparked off protests by some of its employees and had drawn criticism from various quarters. Vij’s latest remarks are only set to add fuel to the fire.
“One can only expect such kind of objectionable and nonsensical statements from BJP's leaders and ministers,” said Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
BJP strongly condemned the comments made by the party leader and clarified that Vij’s comments were solely his personal opinion.
“BJP strongly condemns statement of Anil Vij, it’s his personal remark & not party's stand. Mahatma Gandhi is our icon,” said Shrikant Sharma of the BJP.
Even Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar distanced himself from his minister’s comments and said, “It is his personal opinion and has nothing to do with the party.”