Lucknow, Nov.9 (ANI): Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said he was proud of Abu Azmi, the party deputy in Maharashtra Assembly, for taking his oath in national language, the Hindi.
"Today, the entire people of the county are full of praises for Abu Azmi for taking oath in Hindi, but inspite of that he was insulted. Those who insulted him hide like cat and rat. I would like to congratulate Abu Azmi for taking oath in Hindi and the entire Samajwadi Party and the people of the country is proud of him," Singh told reporters in Lucknow city.
Abu Azmi, while taking his oath in Maharashtra State Assembly, was roughed up today for taking his oath of office in Hindi instead of regional language, the Marathi.
Legislators of the right-wing Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), who have been championing for the state's Marathi language, pushed aside Azmi when he began to take oath in Hindi.
Raj Thackeray, chief of MNS had asked all his newly elected legislators (MLAs) to take the formal oath only in Marathi and reportedly warned others to do the same or else his members will cause ruckus.
On Monday, the MNS legislators snatched the microphone placed for taking oath at the podium and when Azmi tried to save himself, MNS member Ram Kadam slapped him.
When the Assembly House reassembled, it suspended four MNS legislators, Vasant Gite, Shishir Shinde, Kadam and Banjle, all first timers, for four years.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai city after the incident, Azmi said that he has done nothing wrong by taking oath in Hindi
He also pointed out that the MNS did not object when Baba Siddiqui, a legislator of Congress party took the oath in English.
"I have written a letter to the Speaker that they must look into the matter. We will not tolerate any insult to the national language. But as you have seen, some people took oath in English to which the MNS did not raise any objection but they had issues when I took oath in Hindi, which means we can use English in this country but not Hindi," said Azmi.
Defending the MNS's act, party leader Ram Kadam, who slapped Azmi, said that they had requested the SP leader to take oath in Marathi.
"To keep the dignity of the Marathi people, we were requesting him time and again to take the oath in Marathi but he did not agree. I believe that a person should be replied in the same language, which he understands," Kadam told reporters in Mumbai.
Condemning the assault on Azmi, Lalu Prasad, chief of regional Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said that such act by the MNS would only disintegrate the country.
"The way MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) MLAs created a ruckus, it will disintegrate the country if steps are not taken to control them. Because of lack of proper law and order, they behave in such a way," Prasad told reporters in Patna city on Monday. (ANI)