27 Jan 2006 # UNI
Vadodara, Jan 26 : Union Minister of State for Railways Naran Rathwa today charged the Gujarat Government with having ”insulted” him by not maintaining the protocol with regard to the flag hoisting ceremony in his home town Chhotaudepur.
The Minister, who was under the impression that he would be doing the flag hoisting at the taluka-level Republic Day celebration organised at the S F High School play ground, was stunned to find that the flag hoisting was done by an officer of the rank of a deputy collector before his arrival at the venue.
Rejecting the Union Minister’s allegations of his ”deliberate insult and humiliation” by the district authorities, Vadodara Collector Rajeev Topno, however, said the flag hoisting at Chhotaudepur was done by Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) project administrator M B Patel as per the scheduled time and programme and standing instructions of the Gujarat Government.
The Minister, who had earlier sought the State Government’s permission to do the job of flag hoisting in his home town during the Republic Day celebration, alleged that the function was hurriedly completed 15 minutes before the scheduled time of 0900 hrs without the national anthem being sung as he was on his way to the venue.
Talking to UNI over phone, Mr Rathwa said he had drawn the attention of the President, Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker and the Gujarat Chief Minister to his ”insult” at the Republic Day function.
Mr Rathwa claimed that as a local minister, he should have been given the permission to do the flag hoisting. Peeved by the authorities alleged move to insult him, the minister, who had a verbal duel with the senior bureaucrats at the venue itself, threatened that he would not allow the State Government to organise the R-Day function at the same venue from next year.
When asked the District Collector said the Minister had sent an application to the Chhotaudepura Sub-divisional Magistrate seeking the Government’s persmission to do the flag hoising in the town. But there was instruction from the Government to change the programme.
The Minister, however, termed it as ”politically motivated” and as ”highhandedness” of the Modi Government, particularly State Protocol Minister Bhupendra Chudasama.