One should not be forced to sing 'Vande Mataram': Congress

New Delhi/Lucknow [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Condemning the Meerut Municipal Corporation's move to prohibit its members from attending a meeting as they refused to sing 'Vande Mataram', the Congress on Thursday said one should not be forced to sing the national song.

"I think it should not be made mandatory to say Vande Matram, and on the other hand, people should also not refrain from saying Vande Matram. Neither the Municipal Corporation should force anyone to sing 'Vande Mataram' nor people should refuse to say it," Congress leader Rajeev Shukla told ANI.

Meanwhile, Muslim cleric Mufti Mukarram demanded a strict action against the mayor.

"I strongly condemn it. They can't force us to sing Vande Mataram. Mayor shouldn't act like this. There should be proper action against him," Mukarram told ANI.

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, 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 who did not sing the national song and instead walk out of the meeting.

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

It was then that some members belonging to opposition walked out after which the BJP councillors started raising slogans, "Hindustan me rehna hai to Vande Mataram kehna hoga".

The corporators returned to the meeting after a while, but Ahluwalia refused to let them in.(ANI)