NEW DELHI: Congress on Tuesday led the opposition in arguing that PM Narendra Modi is worried about the opposition alliance INDIA gaining traction, which prompted him to decide to change the name of the country to ‘Bharat’. The opposition parties also highlighted the INDIA alliance’s slogan of “Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA”, arguing the two names are interchangeable.
Congress’ K C Venugopal said, “BJP’s destructive mind can only think of how to divide people. Once again, they are creating a rift between Indians and Bharatiyas… This is petty politics because they are scared of INDIA (alliance).”
Party MP Shashi Tharoor hoped that the government will not be foolish enough to “completely dispense with ‘India’ which has incalculable brand value”.
The parties also reminded BJP that the government had come up with the slogans and schemes like “Digital India”, “Start-Up India”, “New India”.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee questioned the need to “suddenly use only Bharat”. “We all say ‘Bharat’, what is new in this? The world knows us as India. What happened suddenly that the name of the country needs to be changed?” she asked. “They (BJP) are altering the country’s history. One fine day, they will change the name of Rabindranath Tagore,” he added.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said no one has the right to change the country’s name. “My stand is clear that there is no need to change the country’s name… I fail to fathom why the Union government is so perturbed by the name the opposition parties have given their coalition,” Pawar told reporters in Jalgaon.
, on the other hand, said, “This is the destruction of the Constitution of India… It is a very immature reaction.”
CPI Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam said, “In the name of promoting India, they are making it a nameless, faceless country before the world. When the invited G20 leaders arrive in india, they will find that there is no clarity on the name with which to address the country.”
DMK president and Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin said, “BJP is rattled by a single term called ‘INDIA’ because they recognise the strength of unity within the opposition. During the elections, ‘India’ will chase BJP out of power! #IndiaStaysIndia.”
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the country belongs to 140 crore people and not to one party. “If INDIA alliance rechristens itself Bharat, will they change the name of Bharat as well?” he asked.
RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav said, “If the PM has an objection to the word INDIA, he should have an objection to Bharat as well since our slogan carries both the names in the tagline.”