President of Bharat, Prime Minister of Bharat is now official, a political row erupted Tuesday over the name of the country after the government sent out a G20 Summit dinner invitation in the name of the “President of Bharat”, and not the President of India.Barely two weeks before Parliament meets for a special session, the agenda of which is still under wraps, a political row erupted Tuesday over the name of the country after the government sent out a G20 Summit dinner invitation in the name of the “President of Bharat”, and not the President of India.

As the Opposition attacked the ruling BJP, a government booklet on the Prime Minister’s visit to Indonesia for the 20th ASEAN – India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit referred to Narendra Modi as the “Prime Minister of Bharat”. It was tweeted by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra who too mentioned “Prime Minister of Bharat”.

Rejecting as “rumours” the speculation, especially in the Opposition camp, that the special session of the House had been called to effect a name change from India to Bharat, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arunag Thakur told The Indian Express: “I think these are just rumours which are taking place. All I want to say is that anyone who objects to the word Bharat clearly shows the mindset.”

On the President’s dinner invitation, Thakur said the President is “Bharat ke Rashtrapati… toh unhone likh diya (so she wrote) President of Bharat. So what?”

“I am a Minister in the Bharat Sarkar. There is nothing new in it. G20-2023 (branding, logo) will have both Bharat and India written. So why this objection to the name Bharat? Why does anyone have an objection to Bharat? This shows their mentality, that in their hearts they are against India or Bharat. When they go overseas, they criticise Bharat. When they are in India, they have objection to the name of Bharat,” he said.

“Who has dropped it? (the word India)… Nobody has dropped it. Even if you look at the G20 branding… it is India 2023 and Bharat. Why should anyone even speculate or object to Bharat being written like that? This branding has been done for the last one year.”

Thakur’s remarks came after the Opposition INDIA alliance pointed to the dinner invitation in the name of the “President of Bharat” and slammed the BJP.

“The British changed Bharat’s name to India. Under Article 1, the Constitution states: ‘India, that is Bharat’. Our country has been known by the name ‘Bharat’ for thousands of years … it is this country’s ancient name and is found in ancient Sanskrit texts. The name ‘India’ was given by the colonial Raj and is thus a symbol of slavery. The name India should be removed from the Constitution,” ANI had quoted the Rajya Sabha MP as saying.The BJP has been attacking the new opposition bloc INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) by repeatedly declaring that the name ‘India’ is a remnant of a colonial past. The recent action is likely a dig at the opposition bloc.Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar hit back at the Opposition for criticising the government over ‘President of Bharat’ G20 invite, saying the country is Bharat and there was nothing wrong in writing so.”I don’t understand what is wrong in writing President of Bharat. Our country is Bharat. I don’t think there should be any problem,” Chandrasekhar said.INDIA vs ‘Bharat’INDIA bloc leader have also been actively participating in the ‘Bharat’ name debate. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called out the move on X (formerly Twitter).Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, also criticised the renaming concept. “Will BJP replace ‘Bharat’ with something else, if INDIA alliance changes its name to Bharat? If an alliance of some parties become India, would they change the name of the country? The country belongs to 140 crore people, not to a party. Let’s assume if the India alliance renames itself as Bharat, would they rename Bharat as BJP then?… What’s this joke?… BJP is thinking that their vote count will decrease so they should change the name of Bharat,” he further said.

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