The Shiv Sena on Thursday attacked All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi, saying that those people unwilling to chant “Bharat Mata ki jai” should be stripped off their Indian citizenship and voting rights. In an 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 party added that the Muslim community has remained “backward” due to the ideas propagated by people like Owaisi, reported PTI.
The Shiv Sena also demanded an answer from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as to how Owaisi was allowed to leave the state after he said at a rally in the state's Latur district that he will not chant “Bharat Mata ki jai” even if a knife is put to his throat. Owaisi had made the statement after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat had said that the country’s youth need to be taught to chant slogans hailing the country. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra Assembly suspended AIMIM member Waris Pathan for refusing to say “Bharat Mata ki jai”.