Raje renames Rajiv kendras after Atal

Cong alleges vindictive politics by BJP

A fresh controversy has erupted on the occasion of birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with the Rajasthan government changing the name of Rajiv Gandhi Jan Seva Kendras to Atal Seva Kendras.

The state Congress unit staged dharnas at various places in the city and party’s senior leaders alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party of playing vindictive politics.

State unit chief Sachin Pilot said the BJP has insulted former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who sacrificed his life for the country. It is a typical example of the narrow mindedness of the people running the government in the state, he said.

“Rajiv Gandhi is a Bharat Ratna awardee and sacrificed his life for the country. Changing the name of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra reflects the ill mentality of the BJP government,” said Pilot.

Pilot said Rajiv Gandhi was a good prime minister as was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Then why this differentiation? Both were Indian prime ministers. Being Indian, we should respect previous PMs who sacrificed their life for the country,” said Pilot.

Targeting BJP leaders, he said the government could have named the new institutions on Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has also been conferred with the Bharat Ratna.

In previous Congress government, as many as 9,278 Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras and Jan Suvidha Kendras in villages were opened for providing basic facilities to people.

“It has come to our knowledge that through a government order, the Rajasthan Rural Development and Panchayati Raj department renamed over 9,278 Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras and Jan Suvidha Kendras in villages after the former PM A B Vajpayee. We condemn this decision. People are watching and they will reply,” said Pilot.

Meanwhile, the BJP leaders rejected the allegations, saying the basic objective is to strengthen the functioning of the seva kendras.

“There are several schemes that are running in the name of Rajiv Gandhi. The name has been changed after serious discussions among senior leaders in state government,” said Kailash Nath Bhatt, BJP spokesperson.

“We have changed the name because we want the kendras to function on principles of Atalji. This should not be made a political issue,” said Bhatt.

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