A controversy has broken out in Madhya Pradesh over government officials on Tuesday (1 January) breaking from the 13-year old tradition of singing ‘Vande Mataram’ on the first day of each month, reports Times Of India.
Senior ministers from the ruling Congress party have called the issue an ‘inadvertent lapse’ as the new government is still settling in and have clarified that there is no intention of doing away with the convention.
The practice began in 2005 when then chief minister Babulal Gaur directed staff from the secretariat-directorate as well as senior government officials to begin recitation of the song in front of the ‘Mantralaya’ building in Bhopal.
BJP came down heavily on the Congress government on the issue, with its state spokesperson contemplating whether people would be allowed to even say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ under the new administration.
Erstwhile Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was quoted as saying that, “it is unfortunate that the new Congress government has ended this tradition. I demand that it should be reintroduced “.
In response to the controversy, Chief Minister Kamal Nath issued a statement saying that Congress will continue to sing the song but in a “different manner”.