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Cong-NCP seek action against Raut on Muslim voting rights barb

Sanjay Raut

Mumbai: Opposition Congress and NCP today dubbed as “anti-constitutional” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s remarks that the voting rights of Muslims should be revoked, and sought strict action against the leader of saffron party.

NCP state president Sunil Tatkare condemned Raut’s remarks saying in the Independence struggle, Muslims had played an important role in the fight against the British empire.

“Making such a demand is against the principles of the Constitution of India. This has to be condemned strongly,” Tatkare told.

Senior Congress leader and former Minority Affairs minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan demanded Raut be booked under section 153 (A) of IPC for hate speech and the Sena MP be stripped of the membership of Rajya Sabha.

“Such a communal statement is not only against the Constitution, but also hurts the religious sentiments of a section of the society,” Khan said.

The former minister described MIM and Shiv Sena as “two sides of the same coin, who play their politics through polarisation”.

Khan said Raut had made the demand to disenfranchise Muslims as he was rattled by the fact that the community had united to vote against the Shiv Sena in the Bandra East bypolls, which were held on April 11.

The ‘Saamana’ piece by Raut said, “Vote bank politics is being played in the name of fighting against the injustice meted out to Muslims. Their educational and health status is being used politically. This politics was once played by the Congress and now every other person calls himself secular.”

“If Muslims are only being used this way to play politics, then they can never develop. Muslims will have no future till they are used to play vote bank politics and thus Balasaheb had once said to withdraw Muslims voting rights. What he said is right,” it added.

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