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Modi-fication of Khadi calendar unites Opposition, PMO dismisses row

Modi-fication of Khadi calendar unites Opposition, PMO dismisses row

Amid heated controversies following the removal of Mahatma Gandhi's picture from the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) calendar and diary, replacing it with the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has, today, slammed the Prime Minister, all over again.

A senior KVIC official, requesting anonymity, said "No one can even think of ignoring the Mahatma".

Microblogging site Twitter was quick to react, with most people disapproving of the "Modi image" used by Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) that is responsible for publishing the yearly calendar and table diary.

The cover photo of the calendar shows Modi weaving khadi on a large "charkha" (spinning wheel) in the same classic pose as Gandhiji.

Employees at KVIC protested silently by wearing black bands on their mouth during lunch hour yesterday, whereas, KVIC authorities greet Modi as the new brand ambassador for Khadi.

On talking to KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena he said this was "not unusual" and there have been deviations previously also.

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"I want to first ask whether anyone can replace Gandhiji?"

The sale of Khadi products increased by five to seven per cent during the Congress rule, but the last two years have seen "unprecedented" jump in Khadi sales, with the increase now touching 34 per cent, the sources said.

- Should Mahatma be a permanent symbol of Khadi? She criticized PM Modi as Mahatma Gandhi's pictures were replaced with PM Modi and expressed dissatisfaction over this issue. Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi said the move was a well-planned move by the government to gain credibility.

The government-run Khadi KVIC defended its decision to use a photo of Modi, sitting in an nearly identical pose while spinning cotton, on the cover of its 2017 calendar and diary.

Opposition leaders reacted sharply to the move.

The sources said that KVIC does not have a rule that calendars and diaries should have a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhij is the Father of the Nation.


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