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Haryana Minister Anil Vij takes back controversial remarks on Mahatma Gandhi

Anil Vij, who is in-charge of health, sports and youth affairs in the BJP government, had earlier said that the rupee has devalued from the time Gandhi's photo started appearing on currency notes.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 14, 2017 3:34:30 pm
anil vij, haryana minister, mahatma gandhi, narendra modi, currency note, khadi calendar, khadi diary, modi mahatma gandhi, BJP, Congress Haryana Minister Anil Vij was responding to a question on the controversy around PM Modi’s photo replacing that of Gandhi in the KVIC calendar (File Photo)

Minutes after Haryana Minister Anil Vij said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a better brand name than Mahatma Gandhi, he took the comment back. His party, the BJP, had condemned the remarks clarifying that it was not the stand of the party.

“The comment I made on Mahatma Gandhi is my personal opinion. To avoid hurting anyone’s sentiments, I take it back,” Vij was quoted saying by news agency ANI.

His remarks had come in connection with the ongoing controversy over the photo of the PM replacing that of Gandhi in the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The cover photo on the calendar and the diary showed PM Modi weaving khadi on a large ‘charkha’ in the same pose as Gandhiji.

“It’s good that Modi’s photo replaced that of Gandhi’s in the calendar. Modi is a better brand name,” Vij had earlier told ANI. “Jab se khadi ke saath Gandhi ka naam juda hai, khadi uth hi nahi saki. Khadi doob gayi (From the time Gandhi’s name has been associated with Khadi, the industry has never been able to stand up. Khadi has drowned),” Vij had said.

The controversial Haryana minister, who is in-charge of health, sports and youth affairs in the BJP government, had went on to say that the rupee has devalued from the time Gandhi’s photo started appearing on currency notes.

“Gandhi ka aisa naam hai ki jis din se note pe chhapi hai tasveer us din se note ki devaluation ho gayi (Gandhi’s name is such that from the day his photo started appearing on currency notes, the note has devalued),” Vij had told ANI.

The BJP distanced itself from Vij’s remarks saying the party does not endorse it.

“It is his personal opinion and has nothing to do with the party,” Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said.

Vij’s remarks about the Father of the Nation had invited angry reactions from opposition leaders.

“This is very unfortunate. These are unworthy sons of the nation,” Lalu Prasad Yadav, RJD leader told ANI.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said such ‘objectionable’ and ‘nonsensical’ statements can only be expected from BJP leaders and ministers.

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