16/03/2016 6:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

AIMIM MLA Suspended For Not Chanting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 15: Supporters of Left Organizations and Student Unions holding posters and shouting slogans demanding release of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, during a march from Mandi House to Parliament on March 15, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The JNU or Jawaharlal Nehru University has sent notice to 21 students including Kanhaiya Kumar over a controversial February 9 event in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, in which anti-India slogans were raised. Kanhaiya Kumar, charged with sedition for his alleged role in the event, was released from jail earlier this month after three weeks in jail. Two others, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, are still in jail. (Photo by Dharna Bhola/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

An MLA of India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has been suspended from the Maharashtra Assembly for refusing to chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, days after the party’s leader, Asaduddin Owaisi, said he won’t chant the slogan even at knifepoint.

The Maharashtra Assembly was adjourned thrice after AIMIM legislator Waris Pathan said he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ since it was a matter of choice and not binding as per the constitution, triggering an uproar over the comments and leading to his suspension on Wednesday.

“The Constitution does not say it. We will say Jai Hind. We won’t chant 'Bharatmata ki Jai,' Pathan said in the assembly.

The leader of AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi, a Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, had recently said that he won't say 'Bharat mata ki jai' even if Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, put a knife to his throat.

Apart from the BJP, RSS and the Shiv Sena, Owaisi’s comments drew criticism from noted lyricist and member of parliament Javed Akhtar, who said he din’t care whether saying 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai 'was his duty or not but believed that it was his right.

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