Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have slammed BJP for demanding the closure of madrassas in Maharashtra. The demand was made by BJP legislator Atul Bhatkhalkar who wanted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to show courage for the closure of madrassas and prove his Hindutva credentials.
However, NCP spokesman and Minister of Minority Affairs Nawab Malik led a scathing attack on BJP saying that the party’s demand for closure of grants provided to madrassas was to spread hatred. ‘’BJP needs to clarify why the issue was not discussed when the party-led government ruled the state between 2014 and 2019,’’ he added.
Malik claimed that BJP’s demand was purely political one and sought reply from the saffron party why the Fadnavis led government did not stop Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant said that by demanding the closure of madrassas, the BJP in the state has gone against PM Narendra Modi’s Sab ka Vishwas slogan. ‘’Was this just a poll plan? If so, the BJP national president JP Nadda and state BJP President Chandrakant Patil should take action against Bhatkhalkar,’’ he added.
Sawant alleged that BJP does not only believe in the Constitution of the country but also its own Constitution. ‘’BJP should remove the word "secularism" from the party's constitution. It would have been better that Bhatkhalkar should have consulted with his party senior leaders on their stand on the issue,’’ he noted.
Sawant said that by demanding closure of madrassas, Bhatkhalkar and others are insulting their own leaders including former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and also Modi.
He recalled that the union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on June 11, 2019, had announced steps to modernize the madrassas by imparting training in Hindi, English, mathematics, science and computer to the teachers of the madrassas.