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Shiv Sena MP force-feeds a fasting Muslim employee; Parliament rocked

Shiv Sena MP force-feeds a fasting Muslim employee; Parliament rocked
Highlights

Parliament rocked, Shiv Sena MP force-feeds a fasting Muslim employee, Force-feeding a Muslim employee by Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, along with his 11 colleagues at Maharashtra Sadan in the capital, especially when he was observing Ramzan fast, disrupted Parliament proceedings in both the Houses on Wednesday.

  • Incident happened at Maharashtra Sadan and the victim is a catering supervisor
  • Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul says he was asking the employee to try the food which tasted terrible
  • Oppn demands action against MP
  • Sena denies incident, says MP was not aware he was on fast
  • Govt wants to verify facts before taking any action; only Advani condemns the incident

New Delhi: Force-feeding a Muslim employee by Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, along with his 11 colleagues at Maharashtra Sadan in the capital, especially when he was observing Ramzan fast, disrupted Parliament proceedings in both the Houses on Wednesday. While the Shiv Sena denied the incident and the Modi government wanted to “verify” the facts, the Congress-led Opposition is determined to demand action against the Shiv Sena MP.

Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare (back to camera) argues with a  Muslim staff at Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi. (Right) Vichare is seen forcing him to eat 'roti' despite his observing Roza

Talking to The Hans India, Opposition leader M Mallikarjun Kharge said that the Congress was determined to take the matter to its logical conclusion and would ensure that proper action was taken against the Shiv Sena MP. He said that the party had written to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, asking for a proper inquiry into the whole incident. The Shiv Sena could not simply deny that they did not force-feed the Muslim employee, who was the catering supervisor in Maharashtra Sadan. News of the shameful incident at Maharashtra Sadan, where the Shiv Sena MPs stuffed roti into the mouth of a fasting Muslim worker, caused ruckus in both the Houses of Parliament, leading to adjournments.

In the Lok Sabha, the situation worsened when BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri said that this was Hindustan, not Pakistan. At the intervention of Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Bidhuri was eventually forced to apologise.

The Shiv Sena MPs, however, chose not to apologise and insisted that they were not aware that the employee was observing Ramzan fast. Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, denying the incident, demanded strict action against those who were spreading rumours. Another Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul said that they had only asked the employee to taste the food, as it tasted terrible.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the Lok Sabha when the matter was raised by the Opposition with Congress, RJD, Trinamool MPs, demanding an apology from the Shiv Sena MP. The matter is all likely to be taken up by the Congress on Thursday as they have also questioned the silence of the BJP leaders. Except for BJP patriarch L K Advani who has deplored the incident, no other senior leader has condemned it including Minorities Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla besides Home Minister Rajnath Singh and others.

Instead of feeling sorry for the incident, Shiv Sena MPs have demanded action against the Resident Commissioner of Maharashtra for serving rotten food to them. Their contention was that the food was terrible and the chappatis were so hard that they could not break, which prompted them to stuff the same rotis in the mouth of the Maharashtra Sadan employee.

Apparently, the incident has taken political overtones with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan ordering an inquiry into the incident before the Central Government could respond to the situation. Since the Assembly polls in Maharashtra are slated for later this year, all the parties are keen to derive political mileage by going in for communal mobilisation.

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