The controversial proposal of making the singing of 'Vande Mataram' compulsory in all BMC-run schools twice a week was cleared in the civic house on Thursday. It will now be forwarded to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta for a final approval. Sandip Patel, BJP corporator from Goregaon, moved the proposal. The Shiv Sena and BJP supported it, after which mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar passed it.
Patel said, "To encourage patriotic feelings among citizens, we should make [singing] Vande Mataram compulsory twice a week in all schools and colleges run by BMC."
Samajwadi Party opposed the move, with the party's members walking out from the meeting. SP opposed the proposal saying it is a communal decision.
SP group leader Rais Shaikh said, "We had demanded voting on the proposal before clearing it. But unfortunately, the mayor did not allow us to do so and hence, we walked out of the meeting. He [mayor] has clearly favoured BJP. For Muslims, Allah is supreme and we only worship him. We are not against Vande Mataram, but making it compulsory is undemocratic."