New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, who was seen in a video clip trying to put food into the mouth of a Maharashtra Sadan staffer observing Ramadan fast, on Wednesday defended his action, saying he had no idea about the man's religion.
He also said he was protesting the bad quality of food served at the state guest house in the national capital.
"I respect all religions. The staffer was wearing a civil dress and had no badge that could identify him. I had no idea that he was Muslim," said Vichare, a first-time Lok Sabha member from Thane. He was also mayor of Thane city.
The video clip, shown in all major television channels, created a storm with opposition MPs disrupting parliament over the issue.
"We were protesting the bad quality food we were getting at the Sadan. We should get good quality food. But it is not so... we were given half-cooked vegetables and chapatis that were difficult to even break into two pieces. We did not do anything on purpose," Vichare told media persons outside Maharashtra Sadan.
Vichare and some Shiv Sena MPs are residing at the New Maharashtra Sadan in central Delhi during their stay in the national capital to attend parliament's budget session.