Top political leaders of Bihar, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, on Monday strongly condemned the attack on Samajwadi Party Member of Legislative Assembly Abu Asim Azmi.
Azmi was attacked and hit by the MLAs of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena for taking the oath in Hindi.
Nitish Kumar condemned the incident and declared that it had again exposed the MNS' true colours "We will take the matter up with the Union government as well as the Maharashtra government and seek action against them," Kumar said.
"This is enough. MNS MLAs have acted against the Constitution and the national language. The Maharashtra government must take action against them," Lalu Prasad said.
Former union minister Ram Vilas Paswan termed it as a 'desh-droh' (mutiny) by MNS MLAs.
"It is not only an insult of the Hindi language but also a challenge to national unity, integrity and sovereignty," Paswan said.
He added that if the MNS MLAs continued to behave like goons in the Maharashtra assembly, the union government should direct the state government to take action against them.
Both Lalu and Paswan reiterated that as per the Constitution, any Indian can take oath in Hindi, English or any regional language of his choice.
Meanwhile, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today said that Azmi had done the nation proud by taking his oath in the national language.
"I will like to congratulate Azmi for maintaining the honour of the national language by taking the oath in Hindi," Yadav told reporters.
The SP supremo said that those who fight for their ideology have to suffer a bit and added, "The entire nation will honour Azmi for taking the oath in Hindi."
As soon as Azmi began taking the oath in Hindi, the 13-member strong MNS contingent rushed towards Azmi, snatching the mike away from him, demanding that Azmi take the oath in Marathi.
The House was adjourned for 30 minutes as the pandemonium continued and soon after that, MNS MLA Ram Kadam slapped Azmi. MNS chief Raj Thackeray had in October announced that his party legislators would ensure that all MLAs took oath in Marathi.
Additional inputs from PTI