Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said that the state government has decided to reverse the Atal Seva Kendra (seva kendras at village panchayat and panchayat samiti level) as Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra, the original name.
Referring to Rajasthan High Court of January 19, Gehlot said as quoted by ANI “We wanted to name it Rajiv Gandhi Atal Seva Kendra but on High Court’s order it will be named Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra.”
Rajasthan has nearly 10,000 Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras at village panchayat and Panchayat Samiti levels which provide public utility services to rural people. It also has 33 Atal Suvidha Kendras at the district level.
In 2014, former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje-led government had renamed the ‘kendras’ to honour former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary. The renaming was seen as the Raje’s tribute to the BJP veteran but the
decision had invited flak and was challenged in the court.
The plea against the then BJP-led government’s move was filed in 2015 by Congress leader Sanyam Lodha, who had reportedly termed the decision unlawful and disrespectful to former prime minister late and Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi.
Holding the government’s December 28, 2014, order as void, the bench of Justice M N Bhandari directed the Ministry of Rural Development to ensure that such matters do not arise again.
Earlier soon after forming the Government, Congress had decided that the photograph of Deendayal Upadhyay that features on government letter pads would be removed “with immediate effect” and replaced by the national emblem.