Kamal Nath changes tune, restores singing of ‘Vande Mataram’

Bhopal: The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday took a U-turn to announce that reciting “Vande Mataram” will be restored at the state secretariat from next month but added singing of national anthem to the practice.

The newly-elected Congress government was at the centre of a controversy over its decision to discontinue the practice of government employees singing “Vande Mataram” on the first working day of every month at the secretariat here.

Announcing the restoration, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said that in addition to the employees singing the national song, a police band will also play the tune, besides the singing of the national anthem on the first working day of the month.

Earlier in the week, the state government had ordered that it was no longer mandatory to sing the national song, a practice introduced by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in 2005.

Meanwhile, Chouhan has hailed the restoration of singing of the national song as a victory of the people and demanded to know whether the decision to discontinue the practice was taken by Kamal Nath or was made at the behest of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.