The Maharashtra Assembly witnessed high drama on Wednesday as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Waris Pathan was suspended from the House for refusing to chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'
Earlier, BJP members cornered Pathan and asked him to say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai, to which he refused. Following this, a ruckus ensued in the Assembly, after which Pathan was suspended, CNN-IBN reported.
The controversy erupted after MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, "I don't chant that slogan. What are you going to do, Bhagwat sahab...I won't utter that (slogan) even if you put a knife to my throat." Owaisi had said that the Constitution does not mandate any one to chant the slogan.
Reacting to the suspension, BJP's Shaina NC said, "If a person chooses to behave in an unparliamentary manner, it is well within the jurisdiction of a Speaker to take a stand which would set an example."
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)'s Jitendra Awhad also hit out at Owaisi, saying that the matter 'is being politicised to make it an issue of vote banks.'
Owaisi's comments had drawn sharp reactions from several political quarters, and had also echoed in Parliament during the ongoing Budget session. Rajya Sabha MP and film lyricist Javed Akhtar said in Parliament, " I don't care to know whether saying 'Bharat mata ki jai' is my duty or not but it is my right."
Responding to Owaisi's comments, Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam had said that Owaisi should go to Pakistan if he does not want to say 'Bharat Mata ki jai.'
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said statements like that made by Owaisi should be "completely avoided".
With inputs from PTI