Amid the political turmoil on the India-Bharat name row, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of the "shallow politics" being done over the issue. Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, she also urged the top court to ban all political bodies carrying the name of the country.
'Controversy a well-planned strategy'
"Supreme Court should take suo motu cognizance of the shallow politics being done on 'Bharat' and 'INDIA' and ban all organisations, parties, and alliances formed in the name of the country," Mayawati stated. However, she did not clarify whether she wants the apex court to ban bodies formed with 'India' or 'Bharat' in their names. According to her, the controversy is a well-thought-out plan of the BJP and the Opposition to alter the constitution in the name of the nation.
"The people understand the politics they have put forward before the elections...They have sidelined the important issues of unemployment, poverty and inflation...The BJP-NDA alliance should have gone to the Supreme Court against the 'INDIA' name of the alliance...They should have made a law prohibiting the naming of the alliance similar to the name of the country," the BSP leader added.
How matter intensified?
The matter intensified after a G20 invitation bearing the phrase 'President of Bharat' was widely shared on social media, with the Opposition claiming that the move betrayed BJP's fear of the I.N.D.I.A bloc. Reacting to it, the central government said since Bharat is a part of the Constitution, there is nothing wrong with using it.
'Prime Minister of Bharat'
On Tuesday, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also shared a document related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Indonesia in which he is referred to as the "Prime Minister of Bharat". The move also further fuelled the speculation that the issue of changing the name of the country could come up during the five-day special session of Parliament beginning September 18.
Congress attacks Centre
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal stated that the BJP's "destructive mind" can only think of how to divide people. "Once again, they are creating a rift between Indians and Bharatiyas. Let's be clear - we are the same! As Article 1 says - India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. This is petty politics because they are scared of INDIA," he said. "Try what you will, Modi ji.Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA! (sic)" Venugopal said in a post on X.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said while there is no constitutional objection to calling India 'Bharat', he hopes the government will not be so foolish as to completely dispense with 'India' which has incalculable brand value. "So scared of INDIA? Is this the Modi government's hatred for the opposition or the whim of a scared dictator?" Congress wrote on X.
(With inputs from agencies)