Patna: The Centre will issue commemorative stamps of 25 great personalities, including former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday.
"We have decided to fete great personalities for their distinguished services to the nation by releasing commemorative stamps in their memory," he said at a function after releasing a commemorative stamp of Ashoka, the emperor of Maurya Dynasty.
Prasad said the postal department would soon issue commemorative stamps of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who and 25 others comprising Vidyapati (poet), Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Rajendra Prasad, Sachchidanand Sinha, Jai Prakash Narayan, Karpuri Thakur, Kailashpati Mishra, 'Mountain Man' Dashrath Manjhi, Rabindra Nath Tagore, 'Lok Nayak' Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Shivaji.
Commemorative stamps would also be issued of other distinguished persons like Shyama Prasad Mukherji, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Mother Teresa, Ram Manohar Lohia, Bismillah Khan, Ravi Shankar and MS Subhalakshmi, he said.
"Lest our political adversaries not charge us of political bias, I have agreed for issuance of commemorative stamp of the great CPI leader Bhupesh Gupta whose 125th birth anniversary will be celebrated soon," he said.
Prasad charged successive Congress governments with issuing commemorative stamps in memory of members of only one family, and said the NDA government does not share narrow vision of its predecessor as it has decided to recognise the contributions of great persons in different fields over different time spans.
About the commemorative stamp issued of emperor Ashoka, Prasad said he has kept his word on demands made from different quarters in Bihar in this regard.
The unveiling ceremony of the commemorative stamp also saw a host of BJP leaders including its state president Mangal Pandey, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav and Suraj Nandan Kushwaha (MLC) calling for a change of guard in Bihar during the forthcoming Assembly Elections.
Kushwaha went on to eulogise Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership, describing him as the "modern-day King Ashoka."