India as Bharat: TD, BRS, YSRC, MIM all silent
Modi's diversionary tactic: Congress
HYDERABAD: The Modi-led Central government using the name Bharat in official communications on Tuesday led to widespread speculation that "India" would be dropped from the Constitution of India, where it figures in Article 1.
The controversy is just a political issue, Telugu state politicians said, having no significance beyond that. The Congress condemned the move but the BRS and MIM in Telangana, the YSRC and TD in Andhra Pradesh remained silent.
BJP state leaders welcomed the move, and their ally Jana Sena came out in strong support.
MIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi, who usually quickly reacts to the political move of the BJP, remained silent. So was the case with the top brass of BRS.
The YSRC and the TD which have been competing to remain in the good books of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were silent
"It (dropping India) is a mere trick played by Modi to divert people's attention from burning issues like inflation and unemployment," said Congress MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, who was recently included in the Central Election Committee of his party. "We use both India and Bharat. To me it appears that Modi wanted to drop India as the resurging Opposition named its alliance as I.N.D.I.A," said Congress Legislature Party leader M. Bhatti Vikramarka.
Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan has made a demand on various fora to use the name Bharat. "India reminds me of colonial slavery and should be dropped," he has said on earlier occasions.
When contacted, former BRS MP B. Vinod Kumar, vice chairman of the State Planning Board, said: "The Constituent Assembly with its great wisdom said 'India, that is Bharat, is a union of states in the Preamble'. We have been using both names, which indeed are synonyms, since Independence. Where is the need to make changes at this stage?" We should not be seen as degrading our own country with these unwarranted debates or moves, he added.
Telangana BJP state secretary S. Prakash Reddy took serious exception to the Congress getting startled over the very idea of calling the country Bharat. He dismissed the rivals' argument that the BJP was scared of the I.N.D.I.A bloc and wanted to shut out any reference to the name.
"What has changed in Calcutta after its name was changed to Kolkata? Has anything changed in the lifestyle of Bengalis following this? The same goes for the change from Madras to Chennai, and Bombay to Mumbai. When Chandrababu Naidu changed the name of Rajahmundry, did the Godavari River change its course? Whether to accept the change or not is the choice of Congress. Why are they acting scared," he pointed out.
Shiv Sena Telangana unit president S. Sivaji attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his "dual standards". "Why did he name his padayatra as Bharat Jodo Yatra? Why should he want to continue the British legacy," he said.