Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold a protest if the Uddhav Thackeray-led government will not take action against Sharjeel Usmani, an alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University, who had allegedly insulted Hindu sentiments during his speech at the Elgar Parishad conclave held recently in Pune.
Fadnavis said: "A man named Sharjeel Usmani with awful thinking, comes to Pune & calls Hindus awful. State government should take action against him. Is there Mughal rule in Maharashtra that anyone can abuse Hindus & no action is taken?" "Maharashtra govt knows that (Elgar) Parishad is held only to create hatred, they've done it earlier also. If any action is not taken against them, then BJP will hold protest against it, & it'll be clear that statement was made with support of Thackeray govt," he added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday said the police are examining video recording of the speech made by Sharjeel Usmani. “We are checking the video recording of the speech made at Elgar Parishad for objectionable comments. Until police have verified the claims, we cannot comment on it,” he said.
BJP state unit spokesperson Keshav Upadhye on Sunday had shared a purported video in which Usmani can be heard saying that the Hindu society has become rotten. "Will CM Uddhav Thackeray take action against Usmani or continue with his rhetoric that they have not left Hindutva," tweeted Upadhye.
The conclave was organised on Saturday and among those who participated in it included eminent novelist Arundhati Roy, former IPS officer S M Mushrif, former Bombay High Court judge B G Kolse-Patil, and ex-AMU student leader Sharjeel Usmani.
Earlier, several Left-leaning activists were arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly making provocative speeches at the December 2017 Elgar Parishad in Pune.