Launching a scathing attack on AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi for his refusal to chant "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", the Shiv Sena today sought revocation of citizenship and voting rights of those who refuse to chant the slogan.
The Sena also sought to know from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis how Owaisi was allowed to leave the state after he refused to chant the pro-India slogan.
Notably, against the backdrop of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's suggestion that the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India, Owaisi had, at a public rally in Udgir tehsil of Latur district, recently said, "I don't chant that slogan. What are you going to do, Bhagwat sahab."
In a vitriolic editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena said, "Hardik Patel had by mistake disrespected the national flag and he was tried for sedition and is still in jail. Has Asaduddin Owaisi not committed treason as well by insulting mother India? The citizenship and voting rights of all those who do not chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' should be revoked."
"There is a BJP Chief Minister in the state. He has to answer how was Owaisi allowed to leave Latur after insulting the country," it said. The Muslim community has remained "backward" due to the ideas propagated by people like Owaisi, the Sena said lashing out further at the MIM leader.
However, MPCC spokesman Al-Nasser Zakaria alleged that the Sena is only indulging in politics of hypocrisy.
"This is the height of hypocrisy. On one hand the Sena preaches patriotism lessons to others and on the other, indulges in massive corruption in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ruled by it. There are irregularities worth hundreds of crore in awarding contracts for various purposes," he alleged.
"They (the Sena) should understand that they will be taken seriously, even by their own ally (BJP) after they come clean themselves. Merely chanting slogans won't make them nationalists," Zakaria said.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said everybody may not agree with the views of the RSS and BJP. "The RSS and the BJP are portraying 'Bharat Mata' as a 'devi' (goddess) and are expecting all to chant slogans. Everybody may not want to subscribe to this. But, nobody would mind praising mother India," he said.
"They should first clear their stand on whom do they actually want all Indians to praise and then go around giving certificates of patriotism to others," he added.