The opposition and the BJP are engaged in a political battle over the speculated renaming of India to Bharat. This comes after President Droupadi Murmu used the term "President of Bharat" in her invitations to international leaders for the G20 summit. This has drawn attention to the fact that the BJP, which is now embracing the term "Bharat", had walked out of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly in 2004 when a resolution to rename India as Bharat was passed by Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In 2004, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, led by then-chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP), passed a resolution calling for an amendment to the Constitution to change the country's name from "India, that is Bharat" to "Bharat, that is India". The resolution was unanimously adopted by the state legislative assembly, except for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which staged a walkout before the vote was taken.
The speculation that the BJP-led NDA government is planning to drop the name "India" from the Constitution and replace it with "Bharat" arose after the government convened a special parliamentary session from September 18 to 22.
The opposition has speculated that the NDA government is likely to introduce the "One Nation, One Election" bill and propose dropping the name "India" from the Constitution during the upcoming five-day special parliamentary session. However, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have not yet released the agendas for the session.
In 2004, Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP) proposed that India be renamed Bharat. He argued that this would be a way to do away with colonial vestiges, such as the use of English as the official language. Yadav's proposal was inspired by the socialist ideology of Ram Manohar Lohia, who believed that English created a divide between the educated and the uneducated. Lohia argued that Hindi should be the official language of India.
The SP manifesto stated that "Our country was always known as Bharat. However, during the 200 years of British rule it was named India."
The Constituent Assembly formally adopted draft Article 1 of the Constitution on September 18, 1949. This article refers to the Union of States as "India, that is, Bharat".
It is important to note that the Constitution, which was originally drafted in English, does not refer to "Bharat" in any other provision apart from Article 1. The Preamble also refers to "We the People of India".