Shiv Sena MPs ‘force’ Muslim worker to break Ramzan fast



MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena MPs’ stir against the management of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi, the Maharashtra government’s guesthouse, has taken an ugly turn. Reports that Sena MPs, in a fit of collective rage, forced a staff member, who belonged to the minority community, to eat a roti, thus forcing him to break his Ramzan fast, sent shock waves through political circles.

Denying the charge, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “There seems a plot to give a communal twist to the entire episode. The Sena MPs were agitating against the sloppy management of Maharashtra Bhavan, especially the official administrators who have turned the Bhavan into their personal fief.”

Defending his MPs, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that it was no one’s intention to hurt the religious sentiments of any person. He add that the MPs were primarily protesting against the poor quality of services offered at Maharashtra Bhavan.

This assertion of Thackeray’s comes after video evidence of the incident that took place surfaced all over media. Meanwhile senior BJP leaders including Uma Bharti refused to comment on the episode.

Senior Sena MP Anandrao Adsul rubbished reports in a section of the media that Sena MPs had forced a roti down the throat of an employee who was fasting for Ramzan. “The MPs didn’t know that the staff employee belonged to the minority community,” Adsul said.

IRCTC, the Indian Railways subsidiary catering for Maharashtra Sadan, suspended all operations in protest against the incident during which the Muslim worker was forced to eat a chapatti.

Uproar in both Houses

Reports of Shiv Sena MPs, apparently angry over not being served Maharashtrian food, allegedly forcing a Muslim worker to eat a chapatti to break his Ramzan fast created uproar in both Houses of Parliament.

As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled for the day, several opposition members raised the issue and termed it as violation of religious beliefs.

Members from Congress, RJD, Trinamool Congress and AIMIM were on their feet raising the issue. PDP members too were seen waiving a paper but they could not be heard in the din.

AIADMK members were seen waiving a copy of an English daily but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked them not to raise the same question every time.

The Speaker said the members should allow the question hour to proceed smoothly and she would allow the issue to be raised during zero hour.

She said that Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete had met her separately.

Parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the issue could not be raised as “nobody knows the facts” and before raking up the issue, facts should be ascertained.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House when the issue was raised.

After the Speaker’s assurance, the House proceeded with the question hour.

According to TV reports, Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena MP, has vehemently denied the allegations has said that the reports are “false and baseless”.

An eyewitness said that the food being served at Maharshtra Sadan was not of good quality and hence led to anger amongst the MPs.

Congress MP Milind Deora, however, took a dig at Shiv Sena by tweeting about the incident:

The report was first made public by Indian Express. According to Express, a letter sent to Maharashtra chief secretary J Saharia has named the 11 Shiv Sena MPs as Sanjay Raut (Rajya Sabha), Anandrao Adsul (Amravati), Rajan Vichare (Thane), Arvind Sawant (Mumbai-South), Hemant Godse (Nashik), Krupal Tumane (Ramtek), Ravindra Gaikwad (Osmanabad), Vinayak Raut (Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg), Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (Shirur), Rahul Shewale (Mumbai-South Central) and Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan).

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