Controversy over ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ meaningless: Advani

Amid a charged debate over patriotism and chanting of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, BJP patriarch L K Advani today said the controversy over the slogan is “meaningless”.

“I don’t want to comment on it. This is a meaningless controversy (‘yeh ek vyarth vivad hai’)” Advani told reporters in Gandhinagar on sidelines of an event when asked for his comment on the issue.

Advani’s statement comes against the backdrop of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi’s refusal to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai” saying he is not obliged to do so by Constitution. Prior to Owaisi’s statement that stoked a debate, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said the youth should be taught patriotic slogans.

The issue escalated into a political slugfest with the Shiv Sena, BJP and other parties slamming the Hyderabad MP over his stand. Maharashtra Assembly suspended an AIMIM MLA after he refused to chant the slogan, while the Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a censure motion condemning Owaisi.

Advani, who represents Gandhinagar seat in Lok Sabha, today held a review meeting with local corporators and MLAs about the utilisation of funds under MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) scheme.

“I held a meeting with elected members of Gandhinagar corporation as well as MLAs of this area to take stock of utilisation of MPLAD fund, which is given to MPs to carry out developmental works in their respective areas,” Advani said.

The BJP veteran said he was happy with the utilisation of development funds.

“As an MP of this area, I assess the utilisation of funds periodically. I am happy to know that the funds are utilised properly. Some projects were completed already while (some) are under construction. Today’s visit was very fruitful,” he said.