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2-min read

PM Modi is a Better Brand Than Gandhi: Haryana Minister

Haryana's health minister Anil Vij has sparked an outrage saying it is a "good decision" to replace Mahatma Gandhi with Narendra Modi as the face of khadi and that the father of the nation would be removed from currency notes as well.

Jyoti Kamal | CNN-News18jyotik

Updated:January 14, 2017, 3:53 PM IST
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Haryana's health minister Anil Vij has sparked an outrage saying it is a "good decision" to replace Mahatma Gandhi with Narendra Modi as the face of khadi and that the father of the nation would be removed from currency notes as well.

"It was a right decision to remove Gandhi from the calendar," Vij said referring to the controversy over using pictures of the prime minister instead of Gandhi in the latest calendar released by Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

"Khadi is not patented under Gandhi's name. Khadi never prospered when it was associated with Gandhi, in fact, it tanked. It's good that Modi has replaced Gandhi. Modi is a better brand name, and because of him the sale of Khadi has increased by 14%."

He then went on to add. "Gandhi's name is such that after it got added to currency notes, the notes got devalued.

When a reporter pointed out that even the new notes released during BJP rules have pictures of Gandhi, Vij shot back: "It will be removed, slowly."

"It is his personal opinion and has nothing to do with the party," said Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Anil Vij

Opposition Congress immediately hit out saying Vij's utterances betrayed the "änti-Gandhi mindset" of the Sangh.

"This is extremely shameful. It reflects what the BJP is all about. This is a party which never believed in the Mahatma till Mr Vajpayee came to power," party spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said.

BJP's Jawahar Yadav said Vij's views were not that of the BJP but evaded questions on whether he will be removed from his post for the loose comment against the father of the nation.

RJD chief Lalu Yadav said, "It is a shameful comment made by the minister. He should not forgot the Babu’s contribution to the freedom struggle."

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, "BJP believes in hatred and divisive politics. It is unfortunate that now Narendra Modi is trying to portray himself bigger than Mahatma Gandhi."

Later taking back his statement, Vij said, “My statement on Mahatma Gandhi is my personal statement. I take my statement back as I don't want to hurt anyone's feeling."

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| Edited by: Sujit Nath
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