Burqa ban not party’s official stand, clarifies Shiv Sena
A day after stoking controversy over its demand for a burqa ban in India, the Shiv Sena has clarified that the ban is not the party’s official stand.
The party has also clarified that the demand for banning the burqa (or burkha) in the country, which was made in its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ earlier this week, could be the personal opinion of the editor.
“Every policy decision is discussed in the leader’s meeting or announced by Uddhav Thackeray,” said Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe in a statement.
“Today’s editorial has neither been discussed in leaders’ meeting nor announced by Uddhav and thus it may be the personal opinion of editor on the current affairs in Sri Lanka but is not endorsed by the party president or party,” Shiv Sena issued a statement on the editorial.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who also serves as the executive editor of Saamana, also distanced the party from the comments.
“It is not the party’s official stand. Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray had repeatedly spoken about the burqa ban. The BJP too had made (a similar) demand in the past. In the Saamana editorial, I have analysed the issue in the wake of the burqa ban decision announced in Sri Lanka,” Raut was quoted as saying.
Earlier, citing a ban on the burqa in Sri Lanka after the deadly Easter Sunday attacks, Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ demanded the imposition of a similar ban in India in “national interest”.
The Sena’s proposal, however, was rejected by another NDA ally, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India, who said that burqa should not be banned as it forms part of the country’s tradition.
“It has happened in Ravan’s Lanka. When will it happen in Ram’s Ayodhya? We ask this question to the PM as he is scheduled to visit Ayodhya on Wednesday,” the editorial stated.
Last Sunday, the Sri Lankan government adopted measures to impose a complete ban on all types of burqas and face covers in the wake of the horrific terror bombings that rattled the entire country on Easter Sunday.