Haryana minister Anil Vij fuelled the controversy surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) calendar with his comments on Saturday. Vij said, “It’s good that Mahatma was replaced by Modi on khadi calendar. Gandhi will also gradually be removed from all the currency notes.”
The replacement of Mahatma Gandhi’s picture weaving khadi on a simple charkha, wearing his trademark cloth with a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the same classic pose on the KVIC diary and calendar has caused a lot of furore. On Saturday, the opposition launched a scathing attack on the ‘megalomaniac’ Prime Minister, saying that the government’s decision to replace Mahatma Gandhi’s photo with that of the former was an assault on the legacy of Father of the Nation.
On Saturday, Vij said, “Jab se Khadi ke saath Gandhi ka naam juda hai,khadi uth hi nahi saki,khadi doob gayi. Gandhi ka aisa naam hai ki jis din se note pe chhapi hai tasveer us din se note ki devaluation ho gayi. Accha hua ki Gandhi ki jagah Modi ki photo lagayi hai calendar mein,Modi zyada bada brand name hain.
(Since the time khadi has been associated with Gandhi’s name, it has not been able to flourish. Gandhi’s name is such that since the time notes have been printed with his image, they have been devalued. It’s a good thing that Gandhi has been replaced with Modi in the calendar, Modi is a bigger brand.)”
Good that Mahatma was replaced by Modi on khadi calendar,Gandhi will also gradually be removed from currency notes says Haryana Min Anil Vij pic.twitter.com/e8AXr7WJFw— ANI (@ANI_news) January 14, 2017
On Vij’s comments Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “One can only expect such kind of objectionable and nonsensical statements from BJP’s leaders and ministers.”
Meanwhile, BJP’s Shrikant Sharma said, “BJP strongly condemns statement of Anil Vij. It’s his personal remark and not the party’s stand. Mahatma Gandhi is our icon.”
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also commented, saying, “It is his personal opinion and has nothing to do with the party.”
Hours after making the comments, Vij himself retracted his statements saying, “The comment I made on Mahatma Gandhi is my personal opinion. To avoid hurting anyone’s sentiments I take it back.”