BJP boycotts Maharashtra govt's all-party meeting to discuss use of loudspeakers
Mumbai, Apr 25: The BJP on Monday boycotted the all-party meeting called by the Maharashtra Home department to discuss directives on the use of loudspeakers at religious places and questioned whether state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil has the authority to decide on it when the chief minister is not present.
Talking to reporters, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis also slammed the MVA government for filing cases against Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana, who were booked on charges of sedition, promoting enmity, and deterring public servant from discharge of his duty amid the Hanuman Chalisa recital row.
He alleged that whatever is happening in Mumbai is at the behest of the chief minister (Uddhav Thackeray).
If reciting Hanuman Chalisa in Maharashtra attracts sedition then every one of us here is ready to commit that crime. But the way the government is behaving is shameful for the state. Should Hanuman Chalisa be recited in Maharashtra or Pakistan? the former chief minister asked.
Fadnavis said the BJP's stand is very clear on the issue - that directions given by courts in the matter should be followed strictly.
Earlier, we would stay awake the entire Navratri, play garba, play bhajans. Be it Ganesh Chaturthi, there would be events till midnight. The moment the Supreme Court barred the use of loudspeakers from 10 pm, we strictly followed it. We only use it on 15 days on which relaxation is allowed, he said.
The Supreme Court's order must be followed, the former state chief minister said.
On the reason behind not attending the all-party meeting, Fadnavis referred to the clash between Shiv Sena activists and the state's independent lawmakers - MLA Ravi Rana and his wife Navneet Rana, the MP from Amravati, on Saturday. The couple was arrested on Saturday evening amid a high drama.
"What will the home minister do if the chief minister is not present at the (all-party) meeting?" the BJP leader asked.
The Rana couple had earlier given the call for reciting Hanuman Chalisa outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra on April 23.
After the Shiv Sainiks protested outside the residence of the Ranas in Mumbai, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had alleged that he was attacked and his car vandalised on Saturday night when he had gone to Khar police station to meet the Rana couple.
Whatever is happening in Mumbai is at the behest of the chief minister," Fadnavis claimed.
If you want to use the ways of Hitler, we will prefer struggle over dialogue. This has become our mindset, so we have decided to boycott the meeting. If our leaders and activists are being attacked in front of people, and even then we have to struggle to file an FIR, then what is the use of attending such meetings, the BJP leader said.
After attending the all-party meeting, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said there is no provision for the state government to either install or remove loudspeakers.