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Distancing himself from Haryana minister Anil Vij's remarks that Mahatma Gandhi's image did not help Khadi and caused devaluation of the currency, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said the comments are "not linked with the party".
"Anil Vij is our senior minister and makes statement with due care. But still what one says in his personal capacity, it is not linked with the party," he said at a press conference here.
"As far as Khadi is concerned, credit goes to Mahatma Gandhi. It was because of him that Khadi got promoted," Khattar said.
To a question on the controversy over Modi's photo on KVIC diary and calendar, Haryana health and sports minister Anil Vij, who is not a stranger to controversies, had said, "Gandhiji's name has no patent over Khadi. Since Gandhi's name has been attached with Khadi, it has only gone down.
"When Gandhi's image was put on notes, the currency also got devalued," he said.
"It is a good move to replace Gandhi's image with Modi. Modi is a better brand than Gandhi. With the Modi brand name, Khadi sales increased," Vij said in reply to queries from reporters.
Asked to comment about Vij's remarks, Khattar said, "What I know is that Narendra Bhai (the Prime Minister) spun the Charkha in a symbolic manner. He send out a message to promote Khadi and he did not spin the wheel because he wanted to leave behind Mahatma Gandhi, that is not the case."
"Gandhiji is our respected leader, everyone looks at him with great respect. He played a crucial role in our country's freedom struggle. Gandhiwaad is among basic principles which our party, BJP, follows," he said.
On Vij saying Mahatma Gandhi's image caused devaluation of the currency, the Chief Minister said, "As far as devaluation is concerned... It is because of the flawed economic policies pursued in the past. For this Congress policies are to be blamed. Gandhiji's photo has nothing to do in this."
Vij later withdrew his remarks. "The statement given by me in connection with Mahatma Gandhi was given in my personal capacity. To avoid hurting anyone's sentiments, I am withdrawing it," the minister tweeted.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)