Haryana minister Vij terms Modi 'better brand' than Gandhi, faces ire

Haryana minister Vij terms Modi   'better brand' than Gandhi, faces ire

As if the massive row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture replacing that of Mahatma Gandhi on the khadi calendar was not enough, a motormouth Haryana minister fueled more controversy on Saturday, saying ‘Gandhi will also gradually be removed from currency notes’.

Haryana Sports and Health Minister Anil Vij maintained that Modi was a bigger brand name, and went on to say that “Gandhi has such a name that since the day his picture was printed on the currency notes, its devaluation began”.

The minster’s freewheeling foot-in-mouth comments have invited criticism from all quarters, including a strong retribution on social media. The BJP distanced itself from the controversial statements, saying the party does not endorse Vij’s views.

On the sidelines of an event in Ambala in Haryana, Vij candidly said that ever since khadi was linked to Gandhi’s name, the khadi industry has not been able to rise and, in fact, has been on the decline. He added that after Modi’s name was linked with khadi, there has been a 14% increase in the sale of the products. Cornered from all quarters, Vij later withdrew his comments.

Issuing a clarification, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Saturday, “The views expressed were personal and had nothing to do with the BJP.” 

Cong seizes the chance
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “The BJP is doing what the Britishers had done. Such objectionable and nonsensical statements from BJP leaders were expected.”

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