The Shiv Sena on Wednesday welcomed Pune police's decision to decline permission for a gathering to be addressed by All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Muslim reservation and charged that his speeches are a threat to religious tolerance.
The BJP-ally accused Owaisi of "provoking communal tension" and pressed for steps to ensure he and his men are banned in the state.
"We thank the Pune Police department for not allowing the gathering to take place in the city. The state Home department should take steps to ensure that (Asaduddin) Owaisi and his men are banned from Maharashtra. Their speeches are a threat to religious tolerance," Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
The Pune police had on Monday denied permission to a gathering, organised on the question of Muslim reservation in which Owaisi was due to take part, on grounds that his presence could 'provoke communal tension'.
The Sena said that they back the idea of reservation for Muslims on the basis of financial status, but not only on the basis of religion.
"We support the idea of Muslims getting reservation on the basis of their financial status, but not on the basis of their caste. The late Sena Chief (Bal Thackeray) had said that religion should not be mixed with the need to get essential commodities. This is why Owaisi, on the pretext of talking about reservations (for Muslims) does not need to fulfill his agenda," the Sena said.