Delhi prohibits naming more public works after Gandhi-Nehru dynasty

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The Independent Online

Across the length and breadth of India one cannot help but stumble into things named after the country's most famed dynastic family. There are Indira Gandhi airports, Rajiv Gandhi roundabouts as well as parks, schools and hospitals honouring the Nehru-Gandhi clan. One suspects many of them have been named by ministers and officials seeking to please the current members of the first family. But enough is enough. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who was appointed to his position by Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv's widow, has issued a message to ministers that no more government schemes are to be named this way.

Officials within the ruling Congress Party say that Mr Singh and Mrs Gandhi are concerned that the overuse of the names is devaluing the "national leaders". This is especially true when projects are not successful or are not completed on time.

In a letter, the Cabinet Secretary, K M Chandrasekhar, asked ministers "to be sparing and selective". He added: "Henceforth, ministers have to take clearance from the Prime Minister's office before they use the Congress Party's popular brands for their programmes. Such sycophancy is not being appreciated; in fact, it's having the opposite effect."