In Uttar Pradesh also the newly elected Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had hit out at people who refused to sing the national song.
New Delhi: A controversial statement by Uttarakhand education minister Dhan Singh Rawat that those who want to live in Uttarakhand will have to sing “Vande Mataram” has triggered a huge controversy with the local Congress launching a scathing attack against the minister.
The state Congress unit on Thursday also declared that “Vande Mataram” will not be sung at the party’s official programmes for one month “come what may”.
State Congress president Kishore Upadhyay said, “They cannot impose things like that on people. I announce that we will not sing Vande Mataram at our programmes for one month come what may.”
Mr Upadhyay also dared Mr Rawat to “throw him out of the state” while accusing the BJP of using patriotism as an excuse for resorting to divisive politics.
“If the BJP government sets a condition and forces me to sing Vande Mataram then I will not do that. They are trying to divide the society on the basis of patriotism,” Mr Upadhyay said. The Congress, he added, has been singing the national song much before even the BJP came into existence.
Taking a dig at the state BJP government, former Uttarakhand chief minister and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat said, “Why are they trying to create a division in the country? They should just focus on the work that has been assigned to them. If they are so concerned about this, they should just make it compulsory to sing the national song and anthem thrice a day everywhere, in schools, colleges, organisations. Who is stopping them?”
Reacting sharply to the Congress’ response, BJP state unit chief Ajay Bhatt said that the statement highlights the Congress party’s policy of dividing the nation. “If the Congress doesn’t want to sing the national song, what can we say about it? It is the Congress’ policy to destroy all the nationalist thinking and to support all those people who are against the nation,’’ Mr Bhatt added.
This contentious issue has been dominating the political landscape in both Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh ever since saffron party came to power in the two States with a thumping majority. In Uttar Pradesh also the newly elected Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had hit out at people who refused to sing the national song.