A fight broke out between some members of Aurangabad municipality in Maharashtra and an AIMIM and a Congress corporator were suspended for a day after they allegedly refused to stand up when ‘Vande Mataram’ was being sung in the House during a general body meeting Saturday. Objecting to their conduct, ruling Shiv Sena-BJP corporators rushed into the Well and pressed for action against the two corporators. Mayor Bhagwan Ghadamode subsequently ordered that Sayyed Mateen of the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Sohail Shaikh of the Congress be suspended for a day.
Amid the din, some Sena and AIMIM corporators came to blows — although no one was injured, civic officials said some microphones were damaged. The mayor later ordered suspension of another AIMIM corporator, Shaikh Nagar, for the violence and directed officials to register an offence against him.
The AIMIM was quick to distance itself from Saturday’s incident. The party’s Aurangabad MLA, Imtiyaz Jaleel, said, “No one should disrespect the national song.” While saying that the party will hold an internal probe to look into Mateen’s conduct, Jaleel alleged that the entire episode is a “deliberate ploy” of the ruling Sena-BJP alliance to divert attention from non-performance on development issues in the municipality.
While the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance leads the Aurangabad civic body with 58 corporators in the 113-member general body, the AIMIM is the largest opposition party with 23 members. Previously, a similar melee was seen over singing of the national song in Meerut and Varanasi municipalities in Uttar Pradesh. On August 11, there was a ruckus in Maharashtra Assembly after BJP MLA Raj Purohit demanded that Vande Mataram be made compulsory in all schools and colleges. The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has passed a motion making singing of Vande Mataram mandatory in all BMC-run schools.