Cannot force people to sing 'Vande Mataram' until law makes it compulsory: Cong

New Delhi [India], Mar. 31 (ANI): Reacting to the Meerut Municipal Corporation's move to prohibit its members from attending a meeting as they refused to sing 'Vande Mataram', the Congress Party on Friday said that one cannot be held guilty and forced to sing the national song until and unless there is a law which makes it compulsory.

Talking to ANI, Congress senior leader Oscar Fernandes said, "The question is about singing Vande Mataram. It is a national song. But if any individual has any reservation and is not able to sing the song, we cannot hold him guilty of it, until and unless there is a law in the country which says one has to sing Vande Mataram."

Toeing similar sentiments, another party leader, P.L. Punia said it is very 'wrong to force' someone to sing the national song.

"I don't want to go into their religious interpretations, but I believe there is no difference between 'Hindustan zindabad' and 'Vande Mataram'. Both the songs are for the country. But I would like to say it would be wrong to force someone to sing," he added.

However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jagdambika Pal said a person, who is an Indian citizen, should not have a problem to sing Vande Mataram.

The Meerut Municipal Corporation has prohibited its members from attending a meeting after they refused to sing 'Vande Mataram'.

The resolution was proposed by Mayor Harikant Ahluwalia after some councillors, belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition, clashed over the national song.

All seven corporators, who refused to attend the meeting, were from the minority community. They left the session soon after rest of the members started singing Vande Mataram.

There is also a proposal to terminate the membership of those councillors.

The meeting had earlier on Tuesday started with Ahluwalia asking all members to stand up and sing the national song. (ANI)