Mumbai/Nagpur: After Maharashtra Cheif Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s controversial statement that “those unwilling to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai have no right to stay in the country”, opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar today hit back, saying that severe drought in parts of Maharashtra is a greater issue than the nationalist slogan and should be dealt with urgently.
“It’s doesn’t say in in the Constitution that it’s compulsory to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai. As of now, the issue of greater concern is the drought and this should be dealt urgently,” Pawar said in Solapur on Monday.
The statement came a day after Fadnavis said, “Those refusing to say it (Bharat Mata Ki Jai) , should not have any right to stay here. Those living here (India) should say Bharat Mata Ki Jai.”
This adds to the already growing controversy over chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai. On Sunday, yoga guru Ramdev said he would behead those who won’t chant the slogan.
“If the country didn’t have laws, “hum toh lakhon ki gardan kaat sakte hain (we would have decapitated lakhs)”. He also said “if any religion says that do not honour the motherland, such a religion is also not in the interest of this country”.
The controversy over chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai can be traced back to AIMIM chief Assaudin Owaisi’s response to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment.
“The youth of India must be told to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’,” Bhagwat had said.
Owaisi had hit back at Bhagwat , saying, “Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that one should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.”
“I won’t utter that (slogan) even if you put a knife to my throat,” he had added.