New Delhi: Casting aside assertions raised by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) workers on printing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo instead of Mahatma Gandhi’s, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday categorically stated that there is no provision within the Khadi organisation which disallows anyone, except Gandhiji’s, photo to be printed.
“Gandhiji is irreplaceable, we have never thought of replacing him. He is in our hearts, our action and we exist as a country together because of the philosophy of a dearest father of nation Mahatma Gandhiji. But certain technical issues need to be corrected. Those who say that the photo of Mahatmaji was replaced have to be corrected that there is no rule in the KVIC that there has to be a photo of Mahatmaji,” BJP leader Sambit Patra said here.
He further said that in previous occasions, i.e. in 1996, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the calendars did not have the picture of Mahatma Gandhi.
Taking pot shots at the Congress Party, Patra said that unlike them, the BJP has been actively promoting Khadi and Gandhiji’s principles across the country, whereas the Congress has been exploiting Gandhiji’s name for political benefits.
“As far as Gandhiji’s photo is concerned, I would say that Gandhiji’s name has been used by a particular family in Indian polity in a very political manner. As far as the BJP and Prime Minister Modi is concerned, Gandhiji, the father of nation’s philosophy, ideology, we follow to see to it that the country moves ahead in the direction of self reliance,” he said.
Patra said the Khadi industry has been seeing quantum jump in profits ever since the Prime Minister, in his Mann Ki Baat programme, exhorted the people to purchase Khadi materials.
“This quantum leap happened because none other than Prime Minister Modi gave an appeal to various platforms. Let me remind you on October 13, 2014 the Prime Minister through his Mann Ki Baat said that we all have to buy Khadi so that the poor people can be empowered and the people of this country followed what the Prime Minister and the result was five times increase in Kahdi sale.
The controversy surrounding removal of Mahatma Gandhi’s picture from the calendar and diary of the KVIC took a new turn today as the calendar reportedly never featured the picture of Father of the Nation.
Meanwhile, sources added there is no question of replacing Mahatma Gandhi’s picture with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“There was no picture of Mahatma Gandhi on KVIC diary or calendar in the year 1996, 2002 , 2005 , 2011 , 2012 , 2013 , 2016, so there is no question of replacing his picture with that of Modi,” said sources.