Under continued attack from the Opposition on the Maharashtra Sadan issue, the government said it will ascertain facts and respond on the issue in Parliament on Friday.
A group of around 11 Shiv Sena MPs, apparently angry over not being served Maharashtrian food, allegedly forced a Muslim catering supervisor who was fasting for Ramzan, to eat a chapati at the Maharashtra Sadan in the national capital last week.
Congress, SP and Left members raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha saying 24 hours had passed since the issue was first raised but the government was yet to respond. Parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “This is a very sensitive and serious matter.” He also added that the Chair had on Wednesday asked minister of state for parliamentary affairs Santosh Kumar Gangwar to ascertain facts. “We are ascertaining facts,” he said. “We will be finding out full details and then respond”. This triggered uproar from the Opposition benches which argued that the government had gone mum on the issue.
When the House met, the opposition members were on their feet seeking to raise the issue. “Our priority today is discussion on budget. We can’t complete it (with disruptions). We have just seven hours. Let us get on with Question Hour,” chairman Hamid Ansari said.
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan condemned the MP’s “irresponsible behaviour” on Wednesday and asked chief secretary (CS) JS Saharia to probe the complaints. He also added that there had been large scale complaints about Maharashtra Sadan’s management and other issues.
PIL against Sena MPs
A PIL was filed at the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking direction to the Lok Sabha Speaker to disqualify the 11 Shiv Sena MPs for allegedly force-feeding a fasting Muslim catering supervisor to eat at the Maharashtra sadan.
The petition, filed by NGO Garib Nawaz Foundation through lawyer Nawal K Jha, sought direction to the government to immediately arrest the lawmakers for “provoking religious sentiment of minority communities.”
The PIL, which is likely to come up for hearing next week, seeks derecognition of Shiv Sena and also initiation of criminal case against the MPs including Rajan Vichare and Sanjay Rout.