Updated: August 24, 2021 7:11:13 am
A controversy has erupted over a photo of a BJP flag being placed over the National Flag on the body of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh as BJP national president JP Nadda paid tribute in Lucknow on Sunday.
As the photo, which was tweeted by the BJP’s official Twitter handle @BJP4India, went viral, the Opposition demanded an apology from the ruling party for “disrespecting the National Flag”.
“As one who had to fight a court case for four years merely for placing my hand on my heart during the singing of the National Anthem (rather than standing stiffly to attention), I think the nation should be told how the ruling party feels about this insult,” Congress MP from for Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor tweeted.
“The National Flag is our pride and no other flag should cover it. Whatever happened yesterday is a matter of concern and reflects the culture of BJP. They should apologise to the nation,” UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said.
Samajwadi Party also hit out at the BJP. “Party above the Nation, BJP flag above the Tricolour. BJP as usual, no regret, no repentance, no sorrow, no grief,” SP national spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari tweeted.
The photograph was shared by many BJP leaders, including UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh, who was standing alongside Nadda.
Asked about the Opposition’s objections late on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said that it was the last wish of Kalyan Singh to be wrapped in the party flag. “It is not the character of the BJP to not fulfil the last wish of our leader. Those opposing have problems with their vision. I wish that God gives them enlightenment,” Maurya said.
Swatantra Dev Singh was not available for comments.