regular-article-logo Monday, 29 May 2023

Political row brewing over namaz room in Jharkhand Assembly

Opposition BJP attacks Hemant government for 'appeasement', JMM-Congress accuse saffron party of hate-mongering

Our Correspondent Ranchi Published 05.09.21, 09:27 AM
The BJP social media ecosystem also initiated a campaign against the state government. 

The BJP social media ecosystem also initiated a campaign against the state government.  File picture

The Opposition BJP launched an all-round attack on the Hemant Soren government on Saturday, two days after the Assembly Speaker allotted a separate room for namaz on the premises, lobbing accusations of "polarisation" and demaning that it be allowed to set up a Hanuman temple within the Assembly precincts.

The ruling JMM-Congress-RJD coalition goernment accused the BJP of "hate-mongering" to which the saffron party threatened to hit the streets to press for its demand for a temple in the Assembly precincts since a majority of the state's MLAs were Hindus.


Addressing a press conference on Saturday, BJP's Ranchi MLA and former minister C.P.Singh said, “We have learnt today that the Assembly Speaker has allotted a dedicated room in the state Assembly for namaz. In a democratic country, all are free to practice their choice of religious faiths. At the same time, we demanded that the Speaker make provisions to set up a Hanuman temple. If the Assembly is starved of funds, give us the place, we will build a lavish temple."

Singh said that a majority of the 82 MLAs of Jharkhand were Hindus. “Also, there are many Assembly staffers who are Hindu. So, a temple should come up there so that all Hindus can offer prayers," he said.

The BJP social media ecosystem also initiated a campaign against the state government.

Sing warned the state government of protests in the coming days. “Assembly or Parliament is regarded as a temple of democracy. The BJP will not tolerate the state government's attempts to appease a particular community and caste. We will leave no stone unturned to protest against it both inside the House and on the streets,” he said.

JMM and Congress hit back at the BJP, accusing it of trying to rake up a hate campaign against a particular community. JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharjee said a provision for a place to offer namaz in the Assembly was there in the past too. "The BJP must know that the our Constitution and secular ethos offer everyone the right to practice religion of his/her choice. But the BJP is again doing what it knows best—attack the secular fabric of Indian democracy,” he said.

Agreed senior Congress leader and former MP Furkan Ansari. He said that in 2000, then chief minister Babulal Marandi and then Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari had made provisions for a separate room for namaz in the Assembly building. “Why is the BJP protesting now? In 2000, it was a BJP government run by Marandi which made this provision. This clearly shows the BJP’s attempt to divide society now,” he said.

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