On Friday, May 26, councillors of Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party and BJP traded blows at the Meerut Municipal Corporation Mayor and Councillors’ swearing-in ceremony. The scuffle allegedly broke out after AIMIM party councillors raised an objection to India’s national song ‘Vande Mataram’.
Reportedly, the AIMIM councillors refused to sing and stand up while India’s National song ‘Vande Mataram’ was being played during the ceremony.
UP : मेरठ में वंदे मातरम पर बवाल, BJP और AIMIM नेताओं के बीच हुई मारपीट
— News24 (@news24tvchannel) May 26, 2023
The dispute escalated from a verbal skirmish to a full-fledged physical brawl, with members of both parties throwing punches and blows at each other.
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Laxmikant Vajpayee who was present during the ceremony alleged that the matter escalated after the AIMIM councillors made some objectionable comments.
Meerut police, meanwhile, have taken to Twitter to inform about the incident. “When Vande Mataram was played during the swearing-in ceremony, some AIMIM councillors remained seated and protested.” Other councillors were outraged. This resulted in sloganeering and a commotion. The police officers on the scene intervened and separated the councillors from each other,” the police tweeted in Hindi.
शपथ ग्रहण समारोह में वंदे मातरम शुरू होने पर कुछ AIMIM के पार्षद बैठे रहे और उन्होंने विरोध किया। जिसका विरोध अन्य पार्षदों ने किया।मौके पर नारेबाजी और हंगामा होने पर मौके पर मौजूद पुलिस द्वारा दोनों पक्षों को अलग किया गया।
— MEERUT POLICE (@meerutpolice) May 26, 2023
The incident occurred on Friday at the Subhash Chandra Bose Auditorium of Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, when the newly elected mayor and councillors were being sworn in. During the ceremony, the BJP councillors started singing the national song (Vande Mataram).
The AIMIM councillors objected to the singing of the National Song. They neither sang the national song nor stand up in reverence, which irritated the BJP members. The BJP members objected to this behaviour. Members of both parties got into a verbal spat, thereafter. Within no time, the verbal altercation devolved into an all-out physical altercation.
The police intervened and requested the AIMIM councillors to leave the auditorium. AIMIM councillors got even more agitated as a result of this. Collector Deepak Meena rushed to the venue to pacify the AIMIM members. The AIMIM councillors were, however, so angry that they boycotted the swearing-in ceremony and walked away without taking the oath.
The commissioner, meanwhile, administered the oath to the mayor and somehow completed the formalities of the ceremony in the midst of the ensuing ruckus.
It may be recalled that in 2021, AIMIM MLA Akhtarul Iman, who had raised objections to ‘Hindustan’ written in his affidavit during the oath-taking ceremony of the 17th state assembly of Bihar, had once again courted controversy after he raised an objection to India’s national song ‘Vande Mataram’. Iman, who was also the Bihar State president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party then, had refused to sing the National song ‘Vande Mataram’ during the last day of the Bihar assembly winter session, calling it ‘against his faith and religion’.
Speaking to the media, the AIMIM Bihar president questioned why it was important to sing the national song and said that while he had nothing against singing the national song, saying ‘Vande Mataram’ was against his religion.