'Committed to secularism; wouldn't remove the word,': Naidu

Chennai, Jan 29: Observing that secularism was in the blood of Indian people, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the government was "committed to secularism and it didn't think of removing it" from the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

"We are committed to secularism. There is no problem about it. And there is no thinking to remove it also," the Union Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister said, when sought his view on the matter. Talking to reporters here, he said, "secularism is there in the blood of Indian people that's part of our culture.

Committed to secularism: Naidu

It was not there in original preamble and it was inserted during emergency but government advertisement was about the original preamble and we are committed to secularism and we don't have any idea to drop it." The government advertisement had carried a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution as it appeared before the 42nd Amendment, without the words 'secular' and 'socialist' which was opposed by some senior Congress leaders.

The advertisement showed a picture of the Preamble in the background with a quote from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pictures of some citizens in the foreground. Replying to another query on nuclear diplomacy, Naidu said "Some people have the habit of creating controversy out of non-controversy. It is done in the larger interest of the country and done after so much of discussion."

Though it was initiated during the Congress regime it was the present BJP government which took it a step forward, he said. "Unfortunately Congress is not ready to appreciate but the whole country is happy about the steps taken by Narendra Modi," he said. India and the US reached an understanding on resolving the logjam in implementing the landmark civil nuclear deal on January 25, which was announced jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President Obama in New Delhi.

They reached the "breakthrough" on the stalled civil nuclear agreement by agreeing on commercial cooperation. Congress has so far reacted cautiously to the development, saying it would have to see the fine print on whether Modi has addressed issues raised by the US within India's legal framework and sought details as to how the difficulties were overcome. Naidu was in the city to inaugurate a conference on 'Tamil Nadu Smart Cities' organised by the CII.


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