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New Delhi: Maharashtra’s newly appointed Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has directed all officials of the state government to start telephonic conversations with “Vande Mataram” instead of greeting a phone call with a ‘hello”.

“On the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, from now on, officers and employees in all government offices in Maharashtra will start their conversation on the phone with Vande Mataram instead of hello,” the minister said on Sunday.

He said it will be mandatory to say Vande Mataram on phone instead of hello.

 “Today immediately after announcements on portfolio distribution, as a Cultural Affairs Minister, my first appeal to each and every citizen and government office employee is, to use ” Vande Mataram” to start a conversation instead of “Hello”,” he tweeted.

Mungantiwar further said it is necessary to abandon this foreign word (hello) while adding that Vande Mataram is not just a word but it is the feeling of every Indian.

The minister made the announcement in one of his first decisions, shortly after chief minister Eknath Shinde handed out portfolios in the state cabinet.

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