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Pathan: Cong’s stand on secularism exposed

He said he also felt let down by the fact that nobody from the Congress, NCP or even the other Muslim MLAs interceded on their behalf.

Written by Zeeshan Shaikh | Mumbai |
Updated: March 18, 2016 5:12:50 am
Waris Pathan at his Mumbai residence on Thursday. (Express Photo) Waris Pathan at his Mumbai residence on Thursday. (Express Photo)

A day after he was suspended from the Maharashtra Assembly for refusing to say “Bharat Mata ki jai”, AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan, 48, said on Thursday that it was a “pre-planned strategy” by the BJP.

He said he also felt let down by the fact that nobody from the Congress, NCP or even the other Muslim MLAs interceded on their behalf.

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“We took up this issue not for personal gain but to challenge communal forces. I feel disheartened that nobody decided to challenge the BJP’s idea of nationalism. Neither the Congress-NCP nor the other Muslim MLAs said a word in our support. How can we ideologically challenge these forces when you decide to keep quiet for electoral gains,” Pathan told The Indian Express.

“It was the Congress vice-president who said that the RSS wants India to have one ideology, while the Congress wants an India of multiple voices and multiple ideologies. Yesterday, it was his partymen who were at the forefront of demanding the suspension of a man who spoke out against the ‘Hinduisation’ of this great secular democratic republic. The Congress is more to blame and its stand on secularism stands exposed,” said Pathan.

On Thursday, the lawyer-turned-MLA did not step out of his Bandra residence. From the two policemen who were deputed to provide him security, the number has now risen to 12.

“I spent the whole day sitting at home, speaking to supporters and giving interviews. Since my election, I think this is the longest time that I have been at home with my family,” he said.

He claimed that he was targeted in a “pre-planned strategy” by the BJP. “I had just entered the House as Imtiaz Jaleel was winding up his speech. Suddenly, Ram Kadam got up and started saying in an aggressive manner that I should say ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’. He was insistent and I reacted by saying that I will not say the things that he wanted, and then all hell broke loose,” said Pathan.

He claimed that he did not use unparliamentary language.

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