Jaipur: With the new Congress government in Rajasthan having suspended the practice of playing the national anthem and the national song at the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) headquarters, a war of words has broken out between the city's Mayor Vishnu Lata and his predecessor Ashok Lahoti.
Lahoti started the practice of playing the national anthem and the national song in the morning and evening in 2017. "The firm appointed to play the national anthem and national song still has to be paid Rs 21 lakh. Once we make the payment, the practice will resume," said Lata.
Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd (REIL) officials confirmed that the JMC owed it Rs 21 lakh, and therefore it had stopped the sound service at the JMC headquarters.
However, Lahoti, who is now a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of the legislative assembly , said: "The Mayor has recommended clearance of payments for many firms, at the earliest. Had he wanted, he could have done the same for REIL as well. But the Congress government is deliberately delaying payment of REIL's dues to put an end to the national anthem. This is treason."
"The BJP will make this a major agenda in the forthcoming civic elections," said Lahoti. "Hiring a firm to play the national anthem and the national song is just a show of patriotism. The firm set its sound system but its dues are still pending. We have now started the process for clearance of dues," Lata said.