Having stirred a hornet’s nest with his remark that “those unwilling to say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ have no right to stay in the country”, CM Devendra Fadnavis yesterday stuck to his guns and said the media was trying to create controversy.

Devendra Fadnavis

“In my 50-minute speech, for 45 long minutes, I spoke about Maharashtra's drought situation and development and, just for 5 minutes, I spoke on ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and the Shani Shingnapur issue, but media picked only ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ and that too only a part of it,” he said about Saturday’s speech at Nagpur.

He added that it had nothing to do with religion and that divisive forces were trying to create a rift in the nation’s unity. “It is not merely about the slogan but about those lakhs and lakhs of freedom fighters who sacrificed their life chanting ‘Bharat mata ki jai’... Those who are opposing it have malafide interests and intentions.”