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INDIA alliance asks why just Bharat, why now?

Updated on: 06 September,2023 09:19 AM IST  |  New Delhi
Agencies |

Ruckus over G20 dinner invitation referring to President Droupadi Murmu as ‘President of Bharat’; opposition parties accuse the government of distracting from issues such as price rise

INDIA alliance asks why just Bharat, why now?

I.N.D.I.A leaders wonder why the BJP is worried about using the name ‘India’. File pics

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INDIA alliance asks why just Bharat, why now?

The Congress on Tuesday attacked the government over a G20 dinner invitation referring to President Droupadi Murmu as “President of Bharat”, accusing the government of being “scared” of the I.N.D.I.A bloc and indulging in distraction from issues such as price rise and “rising joblessness”.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shared on X a G20 dinner invitation from President Murmu which described her position as “President of Bharat”. “So the news is indeed true. Rashtrapati Bhawan has sent out an invite for a G20 dinner on Sept 9th in the name of ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual ‘President of India’,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

“Now, Article 1 in the Constitution can read: Bharat, that was India, shall be a Union of States. But now even this Union of States is under assault,” Ramesh alleged. The G20 Summit is being held in the national capital from September 9 to 10 under India’s presidency and several heads of state from across the world, including US President Joe Biden, are attending the event.

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In another post, Ramesh alleged, “Mr. (Narendra) Modi can continue to distort history and divide India, that is Bharat, that is a Union of States. But we will not be deterred.” “After all, what is the objective of INDIA parties? It is BHARAT Bring Harmony, Amity, Reconciliation And Trust. Judega BHARAT Jeetega INDIA!” said Ramesh, whose party is a constituent of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

‘No one has the right…’

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said no one has the right to change the country’s name.  “I don’t understand why the ruling party is perturbed over a name related to the country,” the NCP chief told reporters in Jalgaon district.

Pawar said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has called a meeting of all party heads of the INDIA alliance on Wednesday. “There will be deliberation on this in the meeting, but no one has the right to change the name (of the country). No one can change the name,” the NCP chief said.

‘What happened suddenly?’

Asserting that it’s well known that India is Bharat, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday questioned the need to “suddenly use only Bharat” while referring to India in official communique.

“I heard that India’s name is being changed. The G20 invite that went out in the name of the honourable president has Bharat written on it. In English, we say India and the ‘Indian Constitution; in Hindi, we say ‘Bharat ka Samvidhan’. We all say ‘Bharat’, what is new in this?

“There’s nothing new to be done. The world knows us as India. What happened suddenly that the name of the country needs to be changed?” she asked, addressing a function on Teacher’s day in Kolkata. “History is being rewritten in the country,” she alleged.

‘We got only name change’

DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Tuesday the saffron party was rattled by the term ‘INDIA’, the name of the opposition bloc.

“After non-BJP forces united to dethrone the fascist BJP regime and aptly named their alliance #INDIA, now the BJP wants to change ‘India’ for ‘Bharat.’ BJP promised to TRANSFORM India, but all we got is a name change after 9 years!,” he said in a post on micro-blogging site X. 

“Seems like the 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,” he said.

BJP lauds ‘President of Bharat’ reference

The BJP on Tuesday reacted with delight to a G20 dinner invitation which described Droupadi Murmu as “President of Bharat”, saying the use of the Hindi name for the country underscores its “civilisation march”, and rejected the opposition’s objections to it. Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Giriraj Singh later posted on X pictures of their invites.

Sharing a picture of his invitation, Pradhan used the hashtag ‘#PresidentOfBharat’ and said, “Jana Gana Mana Adhinayak Jaya He, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata”. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Republic of Bharat- happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards Amrit Kaal.”

Let’s forget the word ‘INDIA’, says VHP

The Vishva Hindu Parishad on Tuesday hailed the use of the word 'Bharat’ in President Droupadi Murmu’s G20 dinner invitation. 

VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said in a post on 'X’, “We are proud of our President of Bharat.” 

“Let’s forget the word INDIA,” Bansal added.

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