Abdullah's statement has come in response to Rashtrapati Bhawan sending out invites for a G20 dinner on September 9 in the name of 'President of Bharat' instead of the usual 'President of India'
Omar Abdullah. File Pic
Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said, "How many names will you change? Will you change the names of the State Bank of India, IIT, and IIM?"
Abdullah's statement has come in response to Rashtrapati Bhawan sending out invites for a G20 dinner on September 9 in the name of 'President of Bharat' instead of the usual 'President of India.'
Speaking to ANI, he said, "In our constitution, both names are registered. Both the names 'India' and 'Bharat' are written... Even the Prime Minister's plane, on which he went to Indonesia, also has both names written on it: India and Bharat. How many places would we rename? If it is just because the opposition has named itself India, then we will change our name... We don't want to cause loss to the nation... If we get the slightest hint that it is because of the name INDIA Alliance, we will change our name. How many names will you change? Will you change the name of the State Bank of India? Will you change the name of ISRO, IIT, or IIM?"
Notably, this is the first time that the government has used the 'Republic of Bharat' instead of India on an official invitation. The move, however, has stirred a huge controversy as leaders from Congress and other parties have strongly opposed it, while the ruling dispensation has welcomed the decision.
The leaders of the INDIA bloc have claimed that the BJP is nervous about the popularity being garnered by the opposition parties ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
On Tuesday, Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi said that the name Bharat was given by our ancestors. While speaking to ANI, she said, "Our Constitution says that India is Bharat. This name (Bharat) was given by our ancestors. In 'Vishnupuran' it is written that the land in the north of the 'Samudra' and the south of the 'Himalayas' has the name Bharat."
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra shared a post on social media platform X on Tuesday that addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "The Prime Minister of Bharat".
The picture shared on X pertains to Modi's participation in the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th EAS Summit in Indonesia on September 7. Patra's post comes at a time when it is being widely speculated that the Centre is going to rename India Bharat during the upcoming special session by bringing legislation.