The Congress on Sunday said the Bharatiya Janata Party was making much of an "irrelevant issue" after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis joined the chorus of leaders who believe refusing to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai” makes you unpatriotic. According to NDTV, Fadnavis was speaking at a rally in Nashik on Saturday when he said those who do not chant the slogan should not live in the country. Fadnavis later said his party does not have a problem if someone chooses to chant "jai hind" or "jai bharat", but they have an objection if someone says they won't chant "bharat mata ki jai". "There is limit to appeasement too," he said.
Fadnavis was quoted as saying, “Does anyone have the courage in this country to not say Bharat Mata Ki Jai? We have to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai in this country. Whoever doesn't say Bharat Mata Ki Jai does not have the right to stay in this country.”
Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said, "This is a completely irrelevant thing. It's a non-issue. The BJP is trying to make this into a controversial issue to try and show themselves to be great nationalists or patriots. The BJP and its predecessors had no role in the independence struggle."The question of chanting "Bharat Mata ki Jai" has been fraught with controversy over the past few weeks. On Friday, Sunni seminary Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa notice asking Muslims not to chant the slogan as they believe it goes against the basic Islamic principle of worshipping one god. On March 16, Maharashtra MLA Waris Pathan had been suspended from the state Assembly for refusing to chant the slogan.
Two days before that, Assaduddin Owaisi, the leader’s of Pathan’s party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, had said he would not chant the slogan even if a knife was held to his throat. Owaisi was responding to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call for the “new generation” to chant "Bharat Mata ki Jai" for the “all-round development of the youth".