Jharkhand may change name of ‘Kamal Clubs’ after EC objection

Jharkhand may change name of ‘Kamal Clubs’ after EC objection

Ranchi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Jharkhand Government is planning to change the name of “Kamal Clubs” (lotus clubs) after an Election Commission (EC) advisory said that a party symbol cannot be promoted with public money.

According to sources in the government, the Commission in a communique to the State Election Commissioner earlier this month said that promotion of any party symbol should not be allowed with public money.

A Jharkhand Cabinet meeting in May this year had approved formation of Kamal Clubs at village and Panchayat levels to promote sports, social and cultural activities. They would also aim to promote Jharkhand art, dance, song, painting, etc.

The other aims of these clubs was stated to create awareness among the people against superstition and practices like witchcraft. The clubs would also celebrate birth anniversaries of renowned people.

But the opposition parties objected to the name “Kamal Club”, as lotus is the symbol of the ruling BJP.

However, even after five months since the proposal got the Cabinet’s approval, the Kamal Clubs are yet to be formed.

“During a review meeting of the Sports and Tourism Department with Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma, the EC letter was discussed. The meeting discussed all aspects of the issue. The renaming of the clubs was also suggested. A final decision will be taken by the Chef Minister on the issue.” an official present at the meeting told IANS on Tuesday.

The opposition parties have welcomed the Election Commission move.

“We welcome the Election Commission advisory against promoting party symbol with public money by the government. The Congress party had submitted a memorandum against the Kamal Clubs and we hope good sense will prevail on the BJP government in the state,” a Jharkhand Congress office-bearer told IANS.

“We suggest that the name of the club should be after the name of a freedom fighter, like Birsa Munda, Sido Murmu or Kanhu Murmu,” he added.

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