15 January, New Delhi
In what is seen as a broad hint by Sharad Pawar-led NCP to position itself with the Modi Government vis-a-vis NDA ally Shiv Sena, NCP leader Praful Patel today said no controversy should be made in the matter as the Prime Minister is seen in the controversial KVIC diary only using a ‘Charkha’.
“Charkha is Mahatma Gandhi’s gift to the nation. Country’s PM is using a Charkha and I feel there is no need to create a controversy over it,” Mr Patel said in a tweet.The message in the micro blogging site comes after a major row was sparked off over Prime Minister Narendra Modi allegedly ‘replacing’ the Father of the Nation — Mahatma Gandhi on KVIC calendars and diary.
Interestingly, NCP’s Mumbai women wing staged a silent protest near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Nariman Point in Mumbai on January 13.Shiv Sena MP from South Mumbai Arvind Sawant has said he was “extremely pained” over the episode. “Nobody would have objected if it was PM Modi’s photo spinning khadi on a Charkha. What is objectionable is removing Mahatma Gandhi’s photos and placing his (Modi’s) instead. This is extremely painful,” he has said.
The Government and the BJP have dismissed the criticism on the issue from parties like Congress, AAP and Trinamool Congress with the BJP spokesman Sambit Patra also stating that even in the past KVIC calendars did not have Mahatma Gandhi’s image.But the controversy took a new turn yesterday after Haryana Minister Anil Vij has said that PM Modi was always a “better brand” than Mahatma Gandhi whose image did not help Khadi and led to devaluation of Indian currency.Under flak, the statement was later withdrawn by Mr Vij.Mahatma Gandhi’s kin Tushar Gandhi has also attacked BJP leaders for trying to “insult” the Father of the Nation.