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Modi’s slogan or BJP’s? MPs spar over use of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ in House panel meet

The Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs saw heated discussions on propriety of using a slogan that was part of a political party manifesto in an official presentation.

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New Delhi: A presentation made by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) before the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs Thursday led to a heated debate between BJP MPs and Opposition lawmakers on whether ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas‘ is a slogan of the ruling party or a clarion call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to people present in the meeting, DoNER gave a detailed overview of its workings in a 69-slide presentation, one of which used the phrase ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas‘.

As soon as the presentation — made by DoNER Secretary Lok Ranjan — was complete, a Trinamool Congress MP objected to the use of the slogan belonging to a political party in one of the slides. It is learnt that the MP received support from a BJD member.

But a BJP MP, who is a member of the committee, is said to have claimed that the slogan did not belong to any political party but used by the prime minister of India on how he wants the country’s government to function. The BJP MP was supported by the standing committee chairman and BJP MP Brijlal.

The Trinamool MP is then said to have defended his position, arguing that he had not named any political party but since references were made to the BJP he would show photographs of the ruling party’s 2014 manifesto, according to sources in the government.

The 2014 manifesto that BJP released ahead of the Lok Sabha elections had the vision of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ with ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ written below it.

ThePrint reached Brijlal on the issue over phone calls and WhatsApp texts. He said, “I am sorry I will not share anything on this because this is confidential.”

Also read: ‘BJP destroying federal structure’ — TMC slams Centre-state issue exclusion from home panel talks

Trinamool planning to write to ministries

Party sources told ThePrint that Trinamool Congress is also planning to write to all ministries to refrain use of slogans belonging to political parties during presentations before standing committees.

“There is a thin but very important line between a government and a political party and it is not proper to breach it,” Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party leader (Rajya Sabha) Derek O’Brien told ThePrint.

When asked about the frequent references in West Bengal as a ‘government of ma mati manush‘, a spin on the TMC slogan, a party leader said, “The chief minister of ministers or political leaders can say that as many times as they want but it cannot be on the lips of the chief secretary of the state for example, or worse still, in an official government document.”

Also read: Rumble with Dhankhar a thing of the past, TMC in no mood to back DMK’s plea against TN governor


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