A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made a remark about Babri Masjid demolition in the Legislative Assembly, SP leader Abu Azmi on Thursday objected to it and asked Muslim ministers in the state to resign over the statement as well as two other issues.
Former Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam also expressed his disapproval over Thackeray’s statement.
Addressing media persons outside the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai, Azmi said Thackeray has forgotten that he is not just the president of the Shiv Sena, but also the state chief minister.
Azmi also hit out at the Congress and the NCP, saying that these parties had earlier talked about giving five per cent quota to Muslims in jobs and education, but it has not happened.
He said that at least ministers from the Muslim community should feel ashamed and resign over Thackeray’s remarks and the quota issue.
The Samajwadi Party leader said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was formed to “stop the BJP” from attaining power and the Congress and the NCP had supported it based on the common minimum programme (CMP).
“Uddhav ji forgot that he is a chief minister. When the Supreme Court wrote the judgement, it had said that installing idol inside the Babri Mosque and bringing down parts of the mosque were both criminal activities.
“So, I think it is very disappointing that a chief minister accepts criminal activity in the House,” Azmi said.
The government was formed on the basis of CMP, but it is now talking about “temples and mosques”, he said, asking the Congress and NCP leaders to think what is to be done now.
“The chief minister had said that the CAA and the NRC will not be implemented in the state. The Congress and the NCP earlier said Muslims should get five per cent reservation.
“Now you (Congress and NCP) are in power. At least, Muslims ministers should feel a bit ashamed and resign on these issues,” he said.
Asked if the ministers concerned should resign on the issue of Thackeray’s speech or some other, Azmi said, “They should resign on the issues of the speech, the CAA-NRC and the reservation. He had said he is running a secular government… This cannot be the role of a secular government, which is happening now.”
Nirupam accused Thackeray of “celebrating” the demolition of the mosque in the House and alleged that Congress and NCP MLAs “enjoyed” the speech.
“Which common minimum programme it (the speech) is part of?” Nirupam asked on Twitter.
Speaking in the Assembly on Wednesday, Thackeray had attacked the BJP on the issue of Hindutva. He had said that the BJP keeps taking name of late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and asked the party to remember the latter’s Hindutva.
Targeting the BJP, the chief minister had said Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva was not of “shendi (tuft of hair) and janeu (sacred thread Brahmins wear)”.
He had further said, “…when the Babri Masjid was brought down, the ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ had run away, but Balasaheb stood (firm on this position).”
“…the Shiv Sena chief (Bal Thackeray) had then said he was proud if his Shiv Sainiks brought down parts of the mosque,” the chief minister had said.