Sena, NCP slam BJP government for iftaar at Sahyadri guest house
The Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government over the iftaar party organised by Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) at Sahyadri guest house on Monday.
MRM is a wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The Sena called the move “appeasement” of the minority committee and said it is a “violation” of rules as they are using the government premises for a private function.
The NCP asked if the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is “having a change of heart”. The Sena, which is a junior partner in the BJP-led state government, attacked the BJP for stooping to such low levels to woo the minority community. “For 60 years, the BJP has been criticising the Congress for appeasement of the minority community. Now, have they not resorted to such appeasement? How can an RSS-affiliated body use government premises? This is misuse of power. Is this ‘saaf niyat’ and ‘sahi vikas’ of the BJP?” said Manisha Kayande, Sena spokesperson.
Nawab Malik, chief spokesperson of the NCP, said if RSS chief is having a change of heart, the party welcomes it. “If the RSS wants to organise an iftaar, then the RSS chief should send the invitation to everybody. We will all come,” said Malik.
Meanwhile, officials of the General Administration Department, which handles bookings for Sahyadri, denied there was an iftaar party at the guest house. “The booking was done by the minority development department for a meeting, which was followed by dinner,” said a protocol officer.
Activists had sought cancellation of the event. Last week, activist Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh wrote to the governor seeking cancellation of the event. Shaikh said the rules framed by the government do not allow “religious events” at the state guest house. “The government used to carry out hearings at the guest house, which were later disallowed after the new rules came into effect in 2015. How can such an event be allowed there?” said Shaikh.