Shivraj Chouhan recently lost power in Madhya Pradesh. (File)
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who lost power in polls last month, says he and other BJP lawmakers will sing "Vande Mataram" in the state assembly on the first day of the Winter Session. That is, if the new Congress-led state government does not restore the tradition of the national song being sung on the first day of every month at the secretariat.
The song was not sung at the secretariat on Tuesday, the first working day of January, which sparked anger in the opposition BJP.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath said it was a temporary halt and Vande Mataram would be restored in a new "roop (form)".
The singing of the national song in the 'Mantralaya' or state secretariat on the first working day of every month was a tradition established by the BJP, which ruled the state for 15 years.
"If the Congress doesn't know the lyrics of Vande Mataram or if they feel ashamed singing it, then let me know. I along with people will sing it on the first day of every month at the Vallabh Bhawan premises," Mr Chouhan, a three-time chief minister, said in tweets.
Kamal Nath then clarified in a statement: "We have not taken this decision under any agenda nor are we opposed to singing 'Vande Mataram'. It is deeply rooted in our hearts and we have sung it from time-to-time. We will start it again but in a different form."
In a show of protest, former BJP ministers Uma Shankar Gupta and Vishwas Sarang, lawmaker Rameshwar Sharma and several BJP workers gathered outside the secretariat and sang Vande Mataram.