A newly-elected mayor in Uttar Pradesh has reversed a decision of her predecessor on ‘Vande Mataram’. Sunita Verma, who was elected as the mayor of Meerut on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket in the recently held UP civic polls, has reversed a decision that made singing ‘Vande Mataram’ compulsory at all board meetings.
Her predecessor Harikant Ahluwalia, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member, had made it compulsory for members to sing Vande Mataram before all the meetings of the Meerut Municipal Corporation. He had also reportedly threatened some members who did not sing the national song at some meetings.
Verma has now issued a fresh directive saying all members are expected to sing the national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, instead of the national song. She cited the constitution of the municipal board to endorse her decision.
The BJP has, meanwhile, protested the decision. Reports quoted BJP leaders as saying that they would protest both inside and outside the municipal corporation. They are also planning to sing Vande Mataram on the roads as mark of protest against the decision.
Notably, while the BJP emerged victorious at most places in the UP civic polls, the BSP candidate snatched the seat from the party in Meerut. Sunita Verma defeated BJP candidate Kanta Kardam by 29,000 votes.
The Meerut mayor is the wife of former BSP MLA Yogesh Verma.