‘Vande Mataram’ row: MP govt says national song, anthem to be sung on 1st working day of every month

After a row over discontinuation of singing Vande Mataram in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly deepened on Wednesday, the state govt announced on Thursday that from now on the national song will be sung in the capital, Bhopal, with lot of enthusiasm and will also involve the participation of the people of the state and the police band.

In a tweet in Hindi, the state govt said, “On the first working day of every month, at 10.45 am, the police band will play a patriotic tune and march from Shaurya Smarak, a war memorial, to Vallabh Bhawan. Upon reaching the Bhawan, the national anthem Jana Gana Man and national song Vande Matram will be sung and the citizen’s will be asked to join the programme.”

This comes after former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Wednesday, said he and all other BJP MLAs will sing Vande Mataram” on the first day of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly session, if the Congress-led state government does not restore the practice of singing it at the secretariat.

The song was not sung on Tuesday, the first working day of January, at the state secretariat following which the opposition BJP attacked chief minister Kamal Nath, seeking to know if it was done on his directive. Nath, however, said the discontinuation was temporary and the practice would be restored in a new form.

Singing of the national song in the ‘Mantralaya’ or secretariat on the first working day of every month had been the norm since the time of erstwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of the BJP.

Chouhan tweets his decision to sing

Taking a dim view of the 13-year-old practice not being followed now, Chouhan in a tweet in Hindi said, “I and all the BJP MLAs will sing the national song at the Vallabh Bhawan (secretariat) premises on the first day of the Assembly session on January 7. People are welcome to join this campaign.”

Targeting Nath over the issue, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya said the chief minister should clarify why his government wants to change the “good tradition”.

No agenda behind decision: CM

Meanwhile, CM Nath said the practice of singing Vande Mataram on the first working day of every month was being discontinued for the time being and that his government has decided to implement it in a new form (‘naya swaroop’).

“We have not taken this decision under any agenda nor are we opposed to singing ‘Vande Mataram’. It is deeply rooted in our hearts and we have sung it from time-to-time. We will start it again, but in a different form,” Nath said in a statement.

BJP leaders sing Vande Mataram at Mantralaya

Meanwhile, former BJP ministers Uma Shankar Gupta and Vishwas Sarang, MLA Rameshwar Sharma, senior party-office bearer Vishnu Dutt Sharma and a number of BJP workers gathered outside the secretariat and sang Vande Mataram to register their protest over the matter.