New Delhi, Jan 29: As the debate over Shiv Sena's demand to remove the words 'secular' and 'socialist' from the Preamble of the Constitution is transforming into a fresh controversy, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has reportedly distanced itself from the row.
A controversy erupted on Tuesday over a Republic Day advertisement issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which carried a picture of the Preamble to the Constitution as it appeared before the 42nd Amendment, without the words ‘secular' and ‘socialist'.
Congress leader and former I&B Minister Manish Tewari attacked the Centre on the issue, claiming the government advertisement "deleted" the two words, which was only a prelude to their "substitution" with "communal" and "corporate".
The Shiv Sena, which is coalition partner of the BJP at Centre and in Maharashtra, has claimed that these two words must be removed from the Constitution as India is a Hindu nation.
Sena drew flak from Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson Tushar Gandhi as the two described the demand as "destructive", "reprehensible" and "contemptuous statement made out of ignorance and bigotry" at a stamp and painting exhibition in the state capital to celebrate 100th year of Mahatma Gandhi's arrival in India from South Africa.
Meanwhile, the NDA Government has neither supported nor rejected Shiv Sena's demand but has said that it is ready for a debate over the same on the floor of the Parliament.