General Bipin Rawat was the centre point of attraction at Vigyan Bhavan on Wednesday, with many youths trying to get a selfie with the Army chief at an event to announce renaming the Rohtang tunnel after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his speech and left the main hall, the youth sitting in the rear seats rushed to the front to click a picture with General Rawat, who is expected to become the Chief of Defence Staff. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and some other Union ministers were present at the event.
The Nehru-Gandhi iconography is passe. The BJP, it seems, is building its own iconography, with former PM Vajpayee’s statues across the country. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated one in Lucknow, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unveiled another in Patna, and BJP MP Jual Oram a third – a bronze statue – at Rourkela Steel Plant.
World On Gandhi
The government is taking out an anthology of essays on “What Gandhi means to me” by world leaders, which will include essays by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli, Maldives Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, among others. The foreword for the collector’s edition, to commemorate the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, is written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With the BJP getting ready to campaign in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Union ministers are now busy drawing up tour plans and holding meetings with representative groups. Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is set to travel not just to his home state of Uttar Pradesh but also to Maharashtra and a couple of other states to quell concerns about the new law and its effect on Muslims.