Cant be part of Vande Mataram: BSP MP Barq
NEW DELHI: A day after he walked out of Lok Sabha during the rendition of Vande Mataram, BSP MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq struck a defiant note saying he could not sing the song in view of his religious belief.
"I absent myself when Vande Mataram is played to avoid any awkward situation but here I was present when it was being played," Barq said, indicating that he was caught in a situation that he normally ducks.
An angry Speaker Meira Kumar ticked off Barq for walking out during the national song when Parliament was being adjourned sine die on Wednesday. "One honourable member walked out when Vande Mataram was being played. I take very serious view of this. I would want to know why this was done. This should never be done again," Kumar said.
Asked in a TV interview on Thursday how other Muslim MPs were present during the song, Barq parried the query saying that was a different matter but he couldn't do the same.
With the issue having the potential of flaring into a political controversy, it remains to be seen how the BSP leadership reacts.
The BJP was quick to launch an offensive, calling Barq's walkout "Taliban-like conduct", adding that such leaders did not have the right to be parliamentarians or even citizens of the country.
"Every session of Parliament, which is the temple of democracy, starts with the national anthem and ends with the rendition of the national song Vande Mataram. This has been the practice since Independence. Unfortunately, the national song has been dishonoured," BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
"By boycotting the national song, he has insulted the Constitution and its norms. Those who hate Vande Mataram not only have no right to be a part of Parliament but also have no right to live in this country," Naqvi added.