Controversy after room allotted for namaaz in Jharkhand Assembly; BJP vows to launch agitation

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The Jharkhand Assembly’s decision to dedicate a hall for namaaz (Muslim prayers) inside its premises has become a topic of huge controversy with the BJP vowing to launch an agitation against the Hemant Soren government.

Jharkhand Assembly
Photo: PTI

Reacting to the development, BJP legislators staged a protest inside the assembly forcing the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings. Jharkhand BJP chief and Rajya Sabha MP, Deepak Prakash, said that his party would soon stage a state-wide agitation against the move.

“The BJP will gherao the Assembly and hold demonstrations in every district to protest the move. The House is the temple of democracy and the Hemant Soren government has insulted it by playing appeasement politics,” Prakash was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary too felt that it was wrong to dedicate a hall inside the assembly premises for a particular faith. He wrote on Twitter, “I think allotting a room inside the State Legislature for religious practice relating to a particular faith is not in right taste. If required, a multi faith prayer room would have been in line with Constitutional mandate & sensitivities.”

The topic became hugely controversial after a notification dated 2 September and signed by Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Deputy Secretary Naveen Kumar became public on 4 September. The order stated that ‘room number TW 348’ was being dedicated ‘as Namaz Hall for offering Namaz in the new Assembly building.’

Desperate for a communal issue after losing the assembly elections in Jharkhand, the BJP has wasted no time in jumping on the controversy since it feels that the issue would help its divisive agenda in time to come.