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Bal Thackeray Agreed to Give More Building Rights to Mosques to Stop Namaz on Roads, Says Sanjay Raut

File photo of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (Image: PTI)

File photo of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (Image: PTI)

The Sena leader also said that if religion became the basis of government, India would become another Pakistan.

Mumbai: Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray asked the government to grant more FSI (floor space index) to mosques when he was told that Muslims are forced to offer namaz on roads because of lack of space, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Saturday.

Speaking at an event at Belgaum in Karnataka, Raut said if religion became the basis of government, "India would become another Pakistan".

Thackeray, the late Sena patriarch, was known for aggressive Hindutva politics.

"Balasaheb Thackeray was highly critical of namaz being offered on roads in Bandra, Bhendi Bazar (in Mumbai). He called representatives of the Muslim community and asked how it can be stopped," Raut said.

"He was told that Muslims don't have any other place to offer prayers. Muslim leaders said the state government should give additional FSI (building rights) to mosques, and Balasaheb agreed," Raut recalled.

FSI denotes how much construction is permissible per square unit of land.

"Today, namaz is not offered on roads and traffic is not blocked," the Sena leader said.

Raut also claimed that the Sena always believed that Muslims need to become part of the mainstream of society.

"If governments are run on the basis of religion, India will become another Pakistan," he said.

Despite its Hindutva politics, the Sena has formed an alliance government in Maharashtra with the Congress and the NCP, which swear by secularism.