“The government of Gujarat has decided … that the word dragon fruit is not appropriate, and it is related to China. The fruit is shaped like a lotus, and then we gave it a new Sanskrit name, kamalam. There is nothing political about it,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rubani told the media on Tuesday .
The development comes a few months after Modi paid tribute to farmers on a radio show growing dragon fruit in the arid Kutch region of Gujarat.
“Then the farmers approached me and suggested changing the name of the dragon fruit to Kamal,” Vinod Chavda, a Koch MP from the BJP, told Reuters. I am happy that the state accepted the proposal. “
Harish Thakkar, a farmer from the area, said that there are more than 200 farmers in Kutch alone that grow dragon fruit on an area of more than 1,500 acres.
Thakar, who has been growing dragon fruit for five years, said, “The Indian name of the fruit will bring us more happiness. We feel that the acceptance level of the fruit will also increase if it is viewed as an Indian fruit.”
The fruit is also grown in the neighboring state of Maharashtra and in northeastern India. There was no indication that the local governments there were planning to change any name.
The opposition Congress called the name change a gimmick.
“The government has nothing to show as achievements and is trying to divert attention from the real issues,” said Manish Duchi, a spokesman for Congress in Gujarat.
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