Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath Thursday hit back at the BJP over its U-turn on the decision to sing Vande Mataram at the state secretariat, saying the party which doesn’t have “a single freedom fighter shouldn’t teach us nationalism.”
Taking a sharp U-turn from its earlier decision, the Madhya Pradesh government today announced that Vande Mataram will be sung on the first working day of every month in the secretariat. Besides this, a police band will march from Shourya Samarak to Vallabh Bhawan in Bhopal while playing Vande Mataram, the state government said.
The decision came two days after the Kamal Nath-led Congress government had ruled that it was no longer compulsory to sing the national song. For the first time since 2005, government employees did not sing the national song at the secretariat on Tuesday — the first day of the month.
Nath later said that he gave the national song a “different look”. “I have been saying from the start that I’ll give it a different look, I’ve announced it today. BJP, who doesn’t have a single freedom fighter should not teach us nationalism,” ANI quoted him as saying.
CM Nath holds the portfolio of General Administration Department (GAD), which is responsible for organising the monthly event.
Following the announcement on Tuesday, BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal had asked Nath to tell the state if he had stopped the practice because he held the GAD portfolio. “By discontinuing singing of Vande Mataram, he has given a new year gift to patriotic citizens,” Agrawal said.