Mumbai/Aurangabad, July 23 IANS | 4 months ago

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Wednesday decried attempts to 'communalise' the issue of some of his party MPs allegedly forcing a man in New Delhi's Maharashtra Sadan to break his Ramadan fast.

Party spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that these people who are trying to put a communal colour on the incident "have lost their mental balance".

Attempting to play down the issue, Thackeray said that "it was a trivial" matter and there was no need to give it communal overtones.

"We may have a Hindutva agenda, but we shall never play with the religious sentiments of any community," he told mediapersons in Aurangabad Wednesday morning.

Thackeray categorically denied the incident which happened July 17 -- that Shiv Sena MP from Thane Rajan Vichare allegedly forced a 'roti' into the mouth of Maharashtra Sadan canteen staffer Ashraf Zubair, complaining about the poor quality of food served there.

Since Zubair was observing a Ramadan fast, it is claimed that Vichare's action broke the fast, raising a controversy which echoed in Parliament Wednesday.

Vichare was reportedly peeved that Maharashtrian type of cuisine was not available at the Maharashtra Sadan where the canteen is managed by IRCTC.

Angry at what he alleged was poor quality food, Vichare put the entire blame on Zubair and even attempted to push a 'roti' into his mouth.

Later, canteen manager Shankar Malhotra reported the entire matter to Maharashtra Resident Commissioner in New Delhi Bipin Malik.

The Shiv Sena was also peeved because last week Malik had refused permission to hold a state cultural programme in Maharashtra Sadan, was not allotting rooms to state MPs and other issues.

Vichare himself dismissed the allegations levelled against him and said that their grievance was about the poor management of Maharashtra Sadan.

(Posted on 23-07-2014)

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