Mumbai: In yet another controversial statement, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi, in a direct attack on the RSS, said that he would not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai'.
Addressing a public rally in Udgir tehsil in Latur district here on Sunday, Owaisi said, "I don't chant that slogan (Bharat Mata Ki Jai). What are you going to do, Bhagwat sahab", PTI reported.
He further said, "Nowhere in the Constitution it says that one should say: Bharat Mata ki Jai."
I won't utter that (slogan) even if you put a knife to my throat," the AIMIM leader added, amid loud applause by the crowd
Owaisi's comments came against the backdrop of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's suggestion that the new generation needs to be taught to chant slogans hailing mother India.
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.
"Now the time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' (hail mother India). It should be real, spontaneous and part of all-round development of the youth," the RSS chief had said.
Owaisi further said that he will "continue to support" the family of Ishrat Jahan.
Watch the video here (Courtesy-ANI):
WATCH: Asaduddin Owaisi to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat- Won't say "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" in Latur (Maharashtra) (March 13)https://t.co/nRNtaBfi6z
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 14, 2016
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party slammed Owaisi for his remark that he won't chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' slogan and asked him as to what was wrong in respecting the mother land.
"I do not know why this kind of language is catching up. Such a senior leader should not use such language. Secondly, with regard to considering mother earth not as an idol or idol worship, this is the land we come from. To have respect for it, I do not know why it has to be linked to cutting ones throat," ANI quoted BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohlias saying.
Reacting sharply over the incident, senior Shiv Sena leader and minister Ramdas Kadam said Owaisi should go to Pakistan if he doesn't want to say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'.