Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responded to reports suggesting that the Central government might introduce a bill to rename India as Bharat (Republic of Bharat) during the upcoming special Parliament Session scheduled from September 18-22. Kejriwal alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was pursuing this course of action out of fear that they might lose votes. He pointed out that the Opposition alliance had already named their coalition as INDIA (Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance). In a playful jab at the BJP, Kejriwal remarked that the nation belongs to all 1.4 billion citizens, not just one political party. He raised a hypothetical scenario, asking if the INDIA alliance were to change its name to Bharat, would the BJP then change the country’s name to BJP?
Kejriwal strongly criticized the idea of altering the country’s name solely because the INDIA alliance had formed and the BJP was concerned about losing votes. He described such a move as an act of treason against the nation’s ancient heritage.
Earlier, amid speculation that the government was considering making Bharat the official name of India, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his support on social media, stating, “REPUBLIC OF BHARAT – happy and proud that our civilization is boldly progressing towards AMRIT KAAL.”
The Congress party criticized the government for referring to the President as the “President of Bharat” instead of the customary “President of India” in an invitation for a G20 dinner at Rashtrapati Bhawan scheduled for September 9. They argued that while there was no constitutional issue with using the name “Bharat” alongside “India,” both names held significant historical and global recognition. Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor emphasized the importance of preserving the brand value associated with the name “India” that had been built over centuries.
Congress leader Manish Tiwari pointed to Article 52 of the Constitution of India, which explicitly states the title “President of INDIA,” as a reminder of the nation’s established nomenclature.