Condemning the recent controversy on singing 'Vande Mataram', former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat on 14 April said that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is so concerned about the issue then they should just form a law, making it compulsory for everyone to sing the song thrice a day.
Stating that debating on the issue of National Song is baseless, Rawat advised the ruling BJP government to carry forward their responsibility to serve the people of the country, rather than indulging in such matters.
"Why are they trying to create division in the country? They should just focus on the work that has been assigned to them. If they are so much concerned about this, then should just turn it into a law. Make it compulsory to sing the national song and anthem thrice a day everywhere, in schools, colleges, organizations. Who is stopping them?" he told ANI.
Further clarifying the Congress Party's stand on the issue of National Song, Rawat said the grand-old party is wedded with Vande Mataram, as their program starts with it and ends with National Anthem, adding that to raise such a question on them is bizarre.
"For us Vande Matram is an eminent page of the glorious freedom struggle of India. We are connected with this and the party ( BJP) who don't have any connection with the freedom struggle of India are giving us lessons on the same, just to prove themselves patriotic and to create polarization," he said.
However, Rawat declined to comment on the Uttarakhand Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay's remark to not to sing ' Vande Mataram', if he was forced.
Earlier on April 7, Uttarakhand minister Dhan Singh Rawat stirred controversy by saying, "If one wants to stay in Uttarakhand, then they must sing Vande Matram".
Earlier in February, the Supreme Court rejected the plea filed by leader and senior Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking direction to give equal respect to the national song as given to the national anthem.
Upadhyay had earlier filed a plea in the apex court seeking directions to the Centre for issuing a policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, national flag and national song.
The petition sought a direction to frame a national policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, national song and national flag in spirit of Article 51A.