Mumbai: Maharashtra Assembly today witnessed din over Devendra Fadnavis’ remark that “those unwilling to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ have no right to stay in the country”, as the Opposition members demanded an apology from the Chief Minister for his comments. Responding to the opposition’s demand, Fadnavis said he will keep chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, whether he remains the Chief Minister or not. “There is still a dispute over saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and those refusing to say it, should not have any right to stay here. Those living here should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” Fadnavis had told a public meeting in Nashik recently.
After the Question Hour ended in the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil moved an adjournment motion saying minorities today are being made to prove their patriotism, and that the chief minister should apologise for his statement. “The CM’s statement on everyone chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is not right. Today there are so many issues plaguing the state, but the CM is focusing on these statements and minorities are having to prove their patriotism by chanting the slogans. All this is being done to divert people’s attention from real issues,” Vikhe Patil said. The opposition members then started waiving the national flag in the House and demanded an apology from CM.
Following a ruckus in the Assembly, Fadnavis responded to the opposition saying that that if they had heard his entire speech, they would not have raised the issue. “There is no question of a dispute over the issue as it is not related to any particular religion or caste, because I salute those highly respected 500 Muslim clerics who not only hoisted the national flag at Mahim Dargah but also chanted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ with the feeling of nationalism and patriotism on March 17, on the occasion of 603rd Urs of Hajrat Makhdum Fateh Ali Mahimi,” he said.
He said that chanting of pro-India slogans is being deliberately linked to a particular caste by “people with malafide intentions” and that attempts were being made to create a divide between communities. “At Wagah border, soldiers only sing ‘Vande Mataram’ and chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. There is no religion there,” the CM said. “Whether or not I remain the chief minister, I will keep chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. The Congress is only raking up this issue to please their high command. Muslims are patriots and the opposition is questioning their patriotism by raking up such issues,” Fadnavis said.