Meerut mayor bars Muslim councillors from meet for refusing to sing Vande Mataram

The proposal put forth by Mayor Harikant Ahluwalia of the BJP also made it clear that any members opposing Vande Mataram will not be welcome in the House.

A group of Muslim councillors left the Meerut Municipal Corporation House as soon as other members started singing Vande Mataram, following which a proposal to terminate their membership was passed.

The proposal put forth by Mayor Harikant Ahluwalia of the BJP also made it clear that any members opposing Vande Mataram will not be welcome in the House.

The Muslim members, however, said they will continue to boycott Vande Mataram "as the Sharia law does not allow them to sing it and that they will move court over the issue if necessary".

Ahluwalia said: "The seven Muslim councillors of the House had walked out of it on Tuesday when other members started singing the national song. They returned after some time, but I refused to let them in."

The proposal to terminate their membership was yesterday passed at a meeting of the municipal board, the Mayor said.

He said it is a serious issue and all members, barring Muslim councillors, were sincere about singing "Vande Mataram".

"We will not allow members, who are against the singing of Vande Mataram, to sit in the House, when it assembles next. We will even go to jail, if required, over it," he said.

Reacting to this, councillor Shaahid Abbasi said: "We are being looked at with suspicion even when we ready to lay down our lives for our country."

Councillors Diwanji Sharif and Arshad Ulla said: "Our religion... the Sharia law does not accept Vande Mataram. We are ready to tender resignation but would not sing it."

Terming the Mayors proposal to terminate their membership as a "Tughlaqi diktat", they said they would move court against it. PTI Corr GVS