The issue of “scrapping” of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 from the list of holidays by Goa government was raised in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday by a Congress member, as the Centre defended the BJP-ruled state saying it was a printing error which has since been corrected.
Shantaram Naik (Cong) raised the issue during Zero Hour, saying it was an “open insult” to Mahatma Gandhi and “deserves to be condemned”.
He said this was not the first time such a thing has happened and thus, “it leaves no scope for any doubt about the intention of Goa government.”
“The BJP government in Goa is known to insult Bapuji and St Xavier’s. Earlier too, such holidays to mark their anniversaries were deleted.
“BJP government is out to reduce Mahatma Gandhi’s importance and the main ruling party has not said anything to disapprove Goa government’s act,” Naik said, adding that a Minister had yesterday made some derogatory remarks about Gandhi.
Responding to the issue, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said “Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday and is not particular to any state.”
He further said “it is a printing mistake and has since been corrected. There is no need of raising the issue here.”
When Naqvi said there was no importance of whether a state government calendar includes it or not, opposition members protested it vehemently.
Naik also claimed that a new education policy being framed, which, he said, would try to eulogise those opposed to Mahatma Gandhi.
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) intervened to say Gandhi’s stature would not fall on this issue and a holiday on Gandhi Jayanti should not become a matter of controversy.