Owing to the Rajasthan High Court order on January 19, Gehlot said that Congress government wanted to keep the names of both leaders but the court doesn't permit so. "They (BJP) renamed Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras to Atal Seva Kendra with a bad intention to get our leader's name disgraced. But Congress doesn't believe in revenge, in fact, we wanted the centres now to be called as 'Rajiv Atal Seva Kendra'. But the court's direction clearly says to rename the centres as Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra, to the original name".
"The BJP government couldn't recognise hard work and sacrifice of Rajiv Gandhi. But unlike them, we value contributions of Vajpayee Ji. Instead of renaming already existing kendras they could have started afresh with Atal Ji's name," he said.
Rajasthan has nearly 10,000 Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras at village panchayat and Panchayat Samiti levels which provide public utility services to rural people. It also has 33 Atal Suvidha Kendras at the district level.
In 2014, the Vasundhara Raje government had renamed the kendras to commemorate Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 soon after the announcement of Bharat Ratna for former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The renaming was touted as the CM’s tribute to the BJP veteran but the decision had invited widespread criticism and was challenged in the court.
The petition against the government’s move was filed in 2015 by Congress leader and former MLA from Sirohi, Sanyam Lodha, who had said the move is unlawful and disrespectful to Rajiv Gandhi, also a Bharat Ratna recipient. Holding the government’s December 28, 2014, order as void, the bench of Justice M N Bhandari directed the Ministry of Rural Development to ensure that such matters do not arise again.