The renaming of India is not much of a change since she has been called “Bharat mata” since the beginning, the BJP’s CP Joshi indicated today amid buzz that the country could now be called “Bharat”. In an exclusive interaction with NDTV during the launch of its Rajasthan channel, the veteran leader was asked about the buzz that has set off a political storm. Mr Joshi said he supports the idea.
“We chant Bharat Mata, not India Mata. Ours is the only country in the whole world whose people consider the country not as a piece of land but as a mother. Therefore, it should be called India only,” he added.
The row started earlier today with the news that President Droupadi Murmu’s invite to G20 leaders introduces her as the “President of Bharat” instead of the traditional “President of India”.
The G20 booklet handed to foreign delegates added fuel to the fire. “Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy”. “Bharat is the official name of the country. It is mentioned in the Constitution as also in the discussions of 1946-48,” it read.
This, coupled with parliament’s five-day special session due from September 18 — for which no agenda has been provided by the government — gave wings to speculation. Many BJP leaders and celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Virender Sehwag and others, hailed “Bharat” on social media. The Opposition slammed the government and went into a huddle.
The Congress has asked the government to spell out the agenda of the special session and accused it of keeping the country in the dark. The Opposition has alleged that this is the government’s reaction to the formation of the INDIA alliance.
Asked about the coming election in the state, Mr Joshi claimed the BJP will win with record numbers. The party is yet to project a Chief Ministerial candidate – a situation Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has slammed.
Speaking to NDTV at the same programme earlier, Mr Gehlot had said the Narendra Modi factor is not going to work in the Assembly elections. Told that like the “Modi vs who” question at the Centre, there is a “Gehlot vs who” question in Rajasthan, the Chief Minister said, “They (the BJP) are looking for an answer”.
Mr Joshi told NDTV that like every time, the BJP will have Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the lotus flower – which is the party’s election symbol — as its face.
“The parliamentary board will decide who will become the Chief Minister. As for the face in the election, our face is PM Modi and lotus flower,” he said.