KVIC khadi calendar row: Narendra Modi's photograph used without permission, says PMO

Officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) have said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph was used in the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) calendar and diary without permission from the PMO.

Top officials told The Economic Times that Modi himself had made his disaprroval clear and an 'upset' PMO has sought explanation from the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on the issue.

The entire controversy began when Modi's image replaced that of Mahatma Gandhi in the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by KVIC. Opposition leaders like Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had criticised the Modi government over this issue.

The great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Tushar A Gandhi, had also criticised the government over the issue.

"Prime minister models for polyvastra (polyesterene). Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) wore khaddar (khadi) to Buckingham Palace, not a Rs 10 lakh suit," Gandhi had said in a sharp tweet.

He had added: "Haath me Charkha, Dil me Nathuram. No sin in calling a spade a spade and a joker a joker on television," and demanded shutting down the KVIC.

Gandhi was referring to his iconic great-grandfather's historic visit to Britain in 1931, when he met Britain's King George V and Queen Mary, clad in his trademark plain loincloth and a shawl.

In comparison, Modi wore a controversial expensive suit during US president Barack Obama's visit to India in January 2015.

In an earlier tweet, Gandhi had said: "Tera Charkha le gaya Chor, Sun le Bapu ye Paigaam, Meri Chitthi tere naam (Your spinning wheel has been stolen — a message to Bapu)... First, Bapu disappeared from few Rs 2,000 currency notes, now he disappears from KVIC office and calendar. Replaced by Rs 10 lakh-ka suit loving prime minister."

Protesting the KVIC decision, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam had said it is "an insult to the Father of the Nation".

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jan 16, 2017 11:11:47 IST