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Sena MP bid to force-feed fasting Muslim unfortunate: Rajnath Read

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said the incident of a Shiv Sena MP trying to force-feed a fasting Muslim staffer of Maharashtra Sadan was "regrettable and unfortunate". Rajnath Singh said the Shiv Sena MPs had expressed objection to the food served at the state guest house. "It has been informed they entered the camp office and kitchen room of the resident commissioner at the Maharashtra Sadan here to express their objections. Thereafter, they reportedly tried to feed a 'chapati' to Arshad Zubair, resident manager of the IRCTC, while taking exception to the quality of food being served," the home minister said while informing the Rajya Sabha. He said IRCTC, which was handling the catering, has cancelled its contract with Maharashtra Sadan while Zubair has not filed any complaint with police. "I will also like to inform the house that our government is committed to safeguarding religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution to its citizens. I will like to appeal to all members that we should make constant efforts in maintaining religious harmony in the country," Rajnath Singh said. Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare was seen in a video clip trying to force food into the mouth of the Muslim staffer who was observing Ramadan fast. It kicked off a political storm Wednesday, with parliament witnessing an uproarRead more at:

Remarks on Sania only to argue the case of students: G Kishan Reddy

Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy on Friday tried to defend his party MLA's controversial remarks about Sania Mirza, saying he was not opposing her being made the state's brand ambassador but was only arguing for students who have been denied scholarships as their parents settled in the region after 1956. He said that Telangana government has accorded ambassador status to tennis star Mirza, who had "married a Pakistani", while denying "fee reimbursement" to students, who settled down in Hyderabad 10 or 15 years ago. "You are giving ambassador status for Sania Mirza, why not (help) students? You are denying scholarships and fee reimbursement to students who have settled down in Hyderabad 10 or 15 years ago. But, Sania Mirza, she has married a Pakistani and you are giving her (brand ambassador status). We are not opposing (brand) ambassador (status), we are comparing the issue," he said. Remarks on Sania only to argue the case of students: G Kishan Reddy G Kishan Reddy said that Telangana government has accorded ambassador status to tennis star Mirza while denying 'fee reimbursement' to students. Reddy said that K Laxman, leader of BJP in the Telangana assembly, also made a statement on similar lines, but it was given a different interpretation by the media. "It is an interpretation of the press... Laxman also said the same thing, but the issue has been interpreted," he added. Laxman on Thursday stoked a controversy over Sania Mirza being made the new state's brand ambassador, calling her Pakistan's "daughter-in- law", sparking outrage and drawing a fierce response from the tennis ace, who said she will remain an Indian until the "end of her life". Describing Mirza as the "daughter of Hyderabad", Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had on Tuesday appointed her as the state's brand ambassador and handed over a cheque of Rs one crore. Telangana government has just last week announced that only students whose families were natives of Telangana prior to 1956 will be eligible to avail fee reimbursement and scholarships for professional courses from this year. BJP on Thursday distanced itself from Laxman's remarks. "This is not BJP's position," senior BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar had said. "Sania Mirza is the pride of India. Sania Mirza has an international standing on her own.... So, we have no objection. I am sure she is pride of India. She is a brand ambassador of India," he had said.

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