Meerut, Dec 6: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Sunita Verma, who was elected mayor of Meerut Municipal Corporation or Nagar Nigam on December 1, on Tuesday revoked her Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) predecessor’s order to make the singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ mandatory. Unfazed by the protest by some opposition parties, Sunita Verma said only national anthem will be sung at the start of every board meeting of Meerut municipal corporation.

“The municipal board’s constitution states the national anthem will be sung, not ‘Vande Mataram’. There should be no controversy… only ‘Jana Gana Mana’ will be sung at the start of every board meeting,” Verma was quoted as saying. Meerut BJP chief Karunesh Nandan Garg strongly opposed the move by the BSP mayor said his party will protest inside and outside the city municipal corporation.

“If the mayor tries to dictate terms… we will… find ways to make sure our corporators sing the national song on roads in protest,” Garg told a newspaper. Former mayor the Merrut municipal corporation Harikant Ahluwalia passed a resolution making singing Vande Mataram mandatory. He also barred seven Muslim corporators from attending a meeting as they refused to sing the national song.

Sunita Verma, the wife of former BSP MLA Yogesh Verma, defeated BJP candidate Kanta Kardam — the state party vice-president in the mayoral election of Meerut municipal corporation. While she received 2.34 lakh votes, Kardam got 2.05 lakh votes.