Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has came under fire from the Congress for saying that every Indian will have to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ if they want to live in the country.
Fadnavis had made the comment while addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party workers’ rally at Nashik on Saturday, the first day of the executive meeting of the party.
“If you want to live in this country then you have to say Bharat Mata ki Jai, otherwise you have no right to live here,” said the CM, reports ANI.
He added, “Some people say we will not say Bharat Mata ki Jai. Then what? Pakistan ki jai or China ki jai?”
Some people say we will not say Bharat Mata ki Jai. Then what? Pakistan ki jai or China ki jai?-CM Devendra Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/dG5LPzVllS— ANI (@ANI_news) April 3, 2016
Reacting to the Maharashtra chief minister’s statement, Congress leader Sandeep Dixit slammed the BJP and Fadnavis, saying the saffron party is fabricating the slogan for political gains.
“This is a completely irrelevant thing. It’s a non-issue. The BJP is trying to make this into a controversial issue to try and show themselves to be great nationalists or patriots. The BJP and its predecessors had no role in the independence struggle. Its leaders once jailed actually wrote apology to the government,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said on Sunday.
Dixit said that it is only by constructing a false sense of national identity and issues like “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, the BJP is trying to project itself as a patriotic party.
The Congress leader further stated that the Maharashtra government has been facing problems and the chief minister is not able to perform there.
“The BJP came fourth in the local elections. So, quite clearly they are about to lose that state. If elections are held today, the Maharashtra government will be wiped out. So how else do you comeback in popular support if you can?t govern?is by creating all these controversies,” he said.
The chanting of slogan has been at the centre of a growing debate on nationalism in the recent months.
Deoband’s Darul Uloom issued a religious edict recently prohibiting Muslims from chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ on the grounds that idol worship is forbidden in Islam.
Earlier, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had said that he won’t chant the slogan “even if a knife is put to my throat”, rejecting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion that the young generation must be taught patriotic slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
Later, his party legislator in Maharashtra Waris Pathan was suspended from the assembly for toeing Owaisi’s line on the issue.
(With inputs from ANI)