Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted sharply to the speculation that the Centre may bring in a resolution in the special session of Parliament on September 18 to replace the name of the country with Bharat instead of India.
Article 1(1) of the Constitution reads “ India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”.
Kejriwal said this is being done to protect electoral interest and a nervous reaction to the formation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc.
“I have no official information on this. However, there is a buzz on this issue. Why are they doing this? If some parties name their alliance as INDIA, will they change the name of the country? If the INDIA alliance changes its name to Bharat, what will be the name of Bharat? This is betrayal of the country,” said Kejriwal.
Kejriwal’s colleague and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha posted on X a G20 invite which has gone out in the name of “The President of Bharat” instead of the customary “The President of India” and said, “The BJP’s recent move to change the reference from ‘President of India’ on official G20 summit invitations has raised eyebrows and ignited a public debate. How can the BJP strike down “INDIA”? The country does not belong to a political party. It belongs to 135 crore Indians…Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA.”
We might consider changing the name of our alliance to BHARAT in the next meeting. Meanwhile the BJP should now start thinking of a new name for the country.
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) September 5, 2023
Questioning the intent behind the central government’s move of forming a committee on ‘One Nation, One Election, the chief minister said, “The day the INDIA alliance was announced, they floated a theory of ‘One Nation, One Election’ to divert attention…Will you or your kids benefit from this? Will there be a dip in inflation, unemployment? If ‘One Nation, One Election’ becomes a reality, before the next elections, a gas cylinder will cost Rs 5,000 and just ahead of polls, they will reduce the price by Rs 200…”
Breaking his silence on the controversial “eradicate Sanatana Dharma” remark of ally DMK’s minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, Kejriwal said, “I am connected to the Sanatan Dharma, many of you are also connected to the Sanatana Dharma. I feel we should respect each other’s religion. To speak against the other’s religion is not a good thing. It is wrong. Everyone should respect each other’s religion.”
Kejriwal echoed the remark of Trinamool Congress chief and WB chief minister Mamata Banerjee who had said on Monday: “I feel they have to respect every religion. Instead of saying condemn, my humble request to everybody is that we should not say anything which may hurt people. We have to remember unity and diversity.”
Earlier, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri had challenged Kejriwal to voice his opposition against the ally’s controversial remark.