BJP MLAs target SP, AIMIM over Vande Mataram issue

SP's Abu Azmi opposes mandatory chanting, says it cannot prove one's patriotism

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Argument between Raj Purohit and Waris Pathan on Friday

While the chanting of Vande Mataram created pandemonium in the state assembly on Friday, an ugly scene erupted in the Vidhan Bhavan campus when BJP and AIMIM MLAs indulged in a scuffle. Security guards had to intervene to prevent the scuffle snowballing into a major one.

It was BJP MLA Anil Gote who raised the issue in the assembly and asserted that if one wants to reside in India, it is mandatory for them to chant Vande Mataram.

Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi opposed the same and said that chanting a particular song cannot prove one's patriotism.

Another BJP member Eknath Khadse said people of all faiths used to recite Vande Mataram during the Independence struggle. "If a person lives and feeds on the soil of this country, what is wrong in being grateful to it? You are born here and after your death, you will be buried in the same land," said Khadse.

After the state assembly witnessed this debate, there was high drama outside the House, within the premises of Vidhan Bhavan.

While MLA Waris Pathan of AIMIM was speaking to TV channels, BJP MLA Raj Purohit raised slogans saying, "Is desh mein rahana hoga, toh Vande Mataram kahana hoga."

In reply, Pathan staged a sit-in protest saying that he was being forced to sing Vande Mataram.

Echoing Azmi, Congress MLA Aslam Shaikh said, "There are two versions of Vande Mataram and after Independence, the government is forcing only one version on us."

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