The Maharashtra government on Monday assured stern action against Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj for allegedly using derogatory words against Mahatma Gandhi.
Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister, Nawab Malik, raised the issue in the state Assembly and demanded that the religious leader be booked for treason and arrested.
During a 'dharma sansad' at Raipur in Chhattisgarh on Sunday evening, Kalicharan Maharaj had allegedly used an abusive word against the Father of the Nation and hailed his assassin Nathuram Godse.
Later, following a complaint by a Congress leader an FIR was registered in Raipur against the religious leader under Indian Penal Code sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 294 (obscene acts), according to police.
The issue of his comments against Mahatma Gandhi figured in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday.
NCP member Nawab Malik said in the House that Kalicharan Maharaj hails from Akola in Maharashtra.
The religious leader should be booked for treason and arrested, Malik said.
BJP member Sudhir Mungantiwar wondered what was the state Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) government doing and why not taking action against Kalicharan Maharaj.
Malik's demand was supported by Congress members Nana Patole and Vijay Wadettiwar.
They urged the Chair to give directions to the state government.
To this, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said Malik and Wadettiwar were representatives of the government.
"It is the job of the government to take action. The MVA government will seek a report about the comments (of Kalicharan Maharaj) and take stern action," Pawar said.
During the event in Raipur, Kalicharan Maharaj had said, "The target of Islam is to capture nation through politics. In front of our eyes they had captured in 1947 (referring to partition)...They had earlier captured Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. They captured Bangladesh and Pakistan through politics...I salute Nathuram Godse that he killed Gandhi."