TWO DAYS after a senior Maharashtra BJP legislator dared Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to shut down state-run madrassas, the Congress and the NCP have trained guns on the Opposition. Demanding action against the legislator, the Congress reminded the BJP that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had both backed the modernisation of madrassas.
On October 15, Mumbai BJP MLA Atul Bhatkalkar had asked Thackeray to follow the Assam government and shut down madrassas in the state. He demanded an immediate stop to modernisation grants provided by the state to the madrassas. The Shiv Sena is yet to officially react to the demand.
On Saturday, state Congress leader and spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the BJP’s manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha election had promised modernisation of madrassas. He also pointed out the ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ slogan was coined by Modi after the victory in the 2014 polls. “The BJP should either accept that the poll promise and Modi’s slogan was a sham or initiate action against Bhatkalkar,” he said. Sawant added the Vajpayee-led government, too, had backed grants for modernisation of madrassas.
State Minorities Development Minister Nawab Malik pointed out that grants to madrassa institutions were being extended even during the BJP rule in the state.
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