October 18, 2020 2:10:54 a.m.
TWO DAYS after a top Maharashtra BJP lawmaker dared Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to shut down state-run madrassas, Congress and the NCP trained guns on the opposition. Demanding action against the lawmaker, Congress reminded the BJP that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee both supported the modernization of the madrassas.
On October 15, Atul Bhatkalkar, a member of the BJP in Mumbai, asked Thackeray to follow the government of Assam and close the madrassas in the state. He demanded an immediate end to state modernization subsidies to madrassas. The Shiv Sena has yet to officially respond to the request.
On Saturday, state congressman and spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the BJP manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections promised modernization of the madrassas. He also pointed out that the slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ was coined by Modi after the victory in the 2014 polls. “The BJP should either accept that the poll promise and Modi’s slogan be a sham, or take action against Bhatkalkar, ”he said. Sawant added that the government led by Vajpayee had also supported grants for the modernization of madrassas.
State Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik pointed out that grants to madrassa institutions were being extended even during BJP rule in the state.
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