Shiv Sena downplays comments on Muslims' voting rights

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Mumbai, Apr 12: Under fire for demanding the revocation of Muslims' voting rights in its editorial mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Shiv Sena sought to downplay the article saying the party is against "appeasement politics" and the violation of fundamental rights of Muslim women.

"The (Saamana) article tries to say that to achieve development in every sphere of life, the politics of appeasement being done by a section of leaders needs to be done away with as it is not in the interest of Muslims. These people are only misguiding the community without really helping them," Sena MLC and spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said.

Uddhav Thackeray

"If Muslims are only being used this way to play politics, then they can never develop. Muslims will have no future till they are used to play vote bank politics and thus Balasaheb had once said to withdraw Muslims voting rights. What he said is right," an editorial in 'Saamana' said today.

Shiv Sena rakes fresh controversy, calls for revoking voting rights of Muslims

"The article doesn't want Muslims' voting rights to be taken away, but it is not right for people like (AIMIM leader Asaduddin) Owaisi to nurture the deprived feelings of Muslims. They have been deprived of overall development and are being used and misguided for personal benefits. He (Sena MP and Saamana editor Sanjay Raut) is opposing this appeasement politics," Gorhe said.

The article should be looked at from an "overall perspective" and should not be misinterpreted as being against the Muslim community, she said. "There are people from all castes working in the Shiv Sena. All of us have been against the vicious politics being played in the name of Muslims against the Muslims," she said.

In recent times, there have been changes in laws for Hindu women due to the struggle of people like Babasaheb Ambedkar and an overall development of the democratic nation, Gorhe said.

"Muslim women have been deprived of that as well. When I look at the issue as a woman politician, I feel that instead of bringing women under the laws related to gender bias, these laws should be changed.

"Some sections of people say that women should only go by shariah, their freedom should not be curtailed. We don't want to impose Hindu laws on Muslim women, but there is still a need to do away with laws like bigamy, child marriages, fatwas, etc, as they violate the fundamental rights of women," Gorhe said.


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