A day after his party joined the BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra Assembly to suspend AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan for refusing to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh supported the House action and said “why should anyone have problem in saying it (‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’)”.
Singh, an AICC general secretary, told The Indian Express there was nothing wrong in the action of the Assembly. “BJP-RSS and AIMIM are in this together. They are raising issues which are irrelevant to the country. First, (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwatji makes a statement that everyone living in India should say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
Immediately, the response comes from AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi who says he won’t say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ as it is not part of the Constitution.
And, the entire debate is diverted to ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ whereas this is not the issue in this country.”
“Coming to what happened in the Maharashtra Assembly, I think the radical Muslims led by the AIMIM are unnecessarily communalising the already communalised environment created by the RSS. Who are they helping? They are basically helping the BJP and RSS by making such statements.”
Asked why did the Congress go along with the BJP, Singh said, “That is of no concern. There should be no problem for people to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. It should come naturally. As far as the resolution goes, it must have been discussed and debated in the Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party. But whatever happened shows that the Congress does not support radical Muslims or radical Hindus. Whether this resolution is correct or not, I leave it to the Congress general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra to comment.”
Asked if his party’s action was in sync with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Lok Sabha a fortnight ago when he raised the issue of those “destroying relationships” in the name of the flag, Singh said, “This is a question which only the general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra can comment on. But personally, I think, this is a step to stop polarisation.”
“They (AIMIM) have no problem in playing footsie with the BJP-RSS in Bihar, UP and even Maharashtra, helping them win. But they will refuse to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ because RSS wants them to say so. This is precisely what the BJP wants.”
Asked how its stand on ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ would impact Congress alliances with other parties, Singh said, “Who, other than AIMIM, has a problem? Tell me, who is opposed to this?”