The Rajasthan cabinet on Wednesday directed removal of photographs of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, RSS thinker and co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, from all government documents and letter pads. The direction has been issued to all the departments in the state, according to news agency ANI. In December 2017, the Vasundhara Raje administration had issued a circular directing to mark the extended centenary celebrations of the Jan Sangh founder and the fourth anniversary of the state government.
The move, however, had come under criticism from the Congress with the party’s then Rajasthan unit chief Sachin Pilot saying it was “against the norms”. "This is preposterous that a person who had never held any constitutional post will feature on the government machinery. They have right to commemorate their leader within the limits of the party fold but taking it to government is against the norms," Pilot had said.
While Rajasthan had become the first state to include Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s photo on letterheads, the RSS leader’s photo has been used on the central government’s letterhead as well.
In October 2017, The Telegraph had reported that HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had used Upadhyay’s photo on his official letterhead.
Earlier, government school libraries in Rajasthan were asked to buy complete volumes on his biography and works. The order ran into trouble as the volume cost Rs 6,000, almost four times the annual budget sanctioned for a school to buy books.
Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh government renamed the Mughalsarai Railway Station to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Station. On August 4, 2017, the Opposition had protested against the decision. The Samajwadi Party claimed that the station was being renamed after someone who had made “no contribution to the freedom struggle”.