Attacked for breaking a 13-year tradition established by the previous BJP government of "Vande Mataram" being sung in the Madhya Pradesh secretariat on the first day of the month, Chief Minister Kamal Nath today said he would give a "new look" to the national song. He said he would make an announcement soon.
"It is wrong to do politics on Vande Mataram. They do politics on everything from Ram temple to Vande Mataram. I condemn this. I will give a new 'roop' (look) to Vande Mataram," Kamal Nath told reporters.
The row erupted over the ruling Congress, which took power in the state after defeating the BJP in polls last month, announcing that it was putting on hold the tradition of the national song in the secretariat on the first working day of every month.
"We have no intentions of breaking or protesting against the national song. The order to recite Vande Mataram in the secretariat on the first day of the month has been put on hold. A decision has been taken to implement the order in a new form. Are those who do not recite Vande Mataram not patriots?" Kamal Nath said on Tuesday.
"We believe that we are nationalist by hearts. One cannot become patriotic by reciting Vande Mataram for one day," he added.
His predecessor Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed shock at the decision and demanded that the practice be restored. He said he and all other BJP legislators would sing the national song at the Secretariat and then take oath on January 7.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a three-term chief minister, tweeted that Vande Mataram is synonymous to patriotism.
"The song renders new energy to the patriotism present in the hearts of people. This is extremely unfortunate that the Congress has ended this convention. Today, Vande Mataram was not sung... Congress perhaps has forgotten that governments come and go, but there is nothing more important than the country and patriotism. I demand that the song is sung before a cabinet meeting as always, and it should also be sung at Vallabh Bhawan on the first day of the month," he tweeted.
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