Shiv Sena Lawmaker Demands Deletion of 'Secular' From the Constitution

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Shiv Sena Lawmaker Demands Deletion of 'Secular' From the Constitution

Shiv Sena lawmaker has called for a removal of the words 'socialist' and 'secular' from the Constitution.


Mumbai:  A Shiv Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut has scripted new controversy by demanding the "permanent deletion" of the words 'secular' and 'socialist' from the Constitution.
Mr Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP and a prominent Sena leader, has argued that "there is no place for secularism in India", which he says is a "Hindu Rashtra."

The Shiv Sena, which is apart of the BJP-led Narendra Modi government at the Centre, has not commented on Mr Raut's remarks yet. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP who runs a state government in which the Sena is a partner, has refused comment.

On Tuesday, a political row erupted over a Republic Day advertisement issued by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, which showed an image of the Preamble to the
Constitution as it appeared before the 42nd Amendment, without the words 'secular' and 'socialist'.

The original Preamble said, "We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, democratic Republic..." The words "Socialist, Secular'' were introduced in 1976, when the Congress was in power.

"We welcome the exclusion of the (secular and socialist) words from the Republic Day advertisement. Though it might have been done inadvertently, it is like honouring the feelings of the people of India. If these words were deleted by mistake this time, they should be deleted from the Constitution permanently," Sena MP Sanjay Raut said adding.

The Shiv Sena brands itself as a pro-Hindutva party with an agenda to set up what it calls a "Hindu Rashtra"

Yesterday, the Congress' Manish Tewari had attacked the Centre saying,



The BJP government at the Centre denied allegations that it had made a serious mistake in its Republic Day ad. "It is not a mistake. We are celebrating the 66th anniversary of the preamble made on that day. Some people are trying to rake up a controversy," said Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the junior minister for information and broadcasting.

The ministry said the original preamble was also used in an ad issued by the previous Congress government last year, when Mr Tewari was I&B minister, to mark the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, the father of the Constitution.

But the ad raised eyebrows at a time when the Narendra Modi government has been accused by opposition parties of not following secular principles.

The BJP's rivals saw a message for the government in US President Barack Obama's strong pitch for religious tolerance yesterday before he wrapped up his three-day visit to INdia.

"India will succeed as long as it's not splintered along religious lines," President Obama said.


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