Pratap Chandra Sarangi, who is the Minister of State for MSME and Animal Husbandry and a first-time MP from Balasore in Odisha, on Monday asked if those who do not say “Vande Mataram” have a right to live in the country, ANI reported. This was Sarangi’s first speech in Parliament
“Do those who do not accept Vande Mataram have a right to live in the country?,” Sarangi asked. “The country will never accept tukde-tukde gang [an entity that is purportedly working to break India into pieces]. The country is with the prime minister.” He also asked if the people who praise Afzal Guru have a right to live in the country.
The treasury benches replied to his questions by saying: “No, not at all”. Sarangi’s speech was followed by thumping of the tables from his fellow BJP legislators.
This comes days after Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq refused to say “Vande Mataram” during his oath-taking ceremony last week, arguing that it was “against Islam”.
In a multi-lingual speech, Sarangi said the BJP had won the confidence of all sections of people and the government was being run with their involvement. Sarangi said 10 years of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was “misrule and full of corruption”.
Previously the state convener of the Bajrang Dal in Odisha, Sarangi is known for his pro-Hindutva stance. Sarangi has been arrested in the past on charges that included rioting, arson and assault after the Odisha Assembly was attacked by right wing groups, including the Bajrang Dal, in 2002.
According to Sarangi’s election affidavit, he is named in 10 criminal cases, but has not been convicted in any of them.