‘Chant Bharat Mata ki Jai or leave’: Meenakshi Lekhi shouts at Kerala audience
Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi, who was attending the inaugural function of the ‘Awake Youth Conclave 2024’ in Kerala’s Kozhikode on February 3, sparked a controversy after she became visibly agitated by the audience’s scattered response to her call to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. The minister was addressing the audience at the conclave, when she suddenly urged the attendees to chant the patriotic slogan. But a section of the audience did not comply with her demand, leading her to lose her cool.
Though several individuals in the audience echoed the chant, Meenakshi pressed on for complete participation, insisting that everyone should join in. She proceeded to single out a woman in a yellow attire, directing her to stand up and participate in the chanting or leave. “A few guys are sitting with their hands holded. Is Bharat only my mother or your mother as well? The lady in yellow can stand up. I am going to ask you a straight question, Bharat is not your Mata?” the minister said, asking her to “leave the house” when she refused to respond.
Further in her speech, Meenakshi said that she used to admire Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan during her college days. She lauded the Governor for the stand he took when he resigned from the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet, in protest against the government's response to the Shah Bano case verdict.
The conclave was organised by the Nehru Yuva Kendra, an autonomous organisation under Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Khelo India, and Tapasya.