New Delhi: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi's remark that he will not chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' even if a knife is put to his throat has not gone down well with the political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party.
"India is our mother and no one should have objection to pay obeisance to mother. It is the misfortune of the country that some people object to it. They are shameless. Some parties are backing such forces, it is unfortunate. There no need to pressurise anyone or there is no need of a law to respect our mother," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the media here.
Owaisi's assertion came days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's suggested that the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India.
"I don't chant that slogan. What are you going to do, Bhagwat sahab," the Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad said at the rally in Udgir tehsil of Latur district in Maharashtra on Sunday.
"I won't utter that (slogan) even if you put a knife to my throat," Owaisi said, amid loud applause from the crowd.
"Nowhere in the Constitution it says that one should say: 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'," he said.
On March 3, Bhagwat had said the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India, comments which came against the backdrop of the row over alleged anti-India sloganeering on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.
BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh also accused Owaisi of trying to provoke nationalist sentiments, describing his statement as "highly condemnable".
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said statements like that made by Owaisi should be "completely avoided".
Interestingly, Samajwadi Party MLA in Mumbai Abu Azmi said Owaisi should say 'Bharat Mata ki jai', but added that "parties like BJP and Shiv Sena are indulging in politics over the issue".