Devendra Fadnavis
Three Muslim MLAs have demanded ban on sale of liquor on Eid-e-Milad, 24 December, on the even of Christmas.IANS

Three Muslim legislators' demanding a ban on sale of liquor for Eid-e-Milad to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has left the government in a  "dilemma" as the festival falls on the eve of Christmas.

The MLAs submitted a memorandum to the chief minister on Friday asking him to declare 24 December as a "dry day" as Muslims do not consume alcohol on "Eid-e-Milad", a festival to celebrate Prophet Muhammad's birthday.

The government is in a "dilemma" as it has to respect the sentiments of both the religions.

"This is the first time that the government has got a request to ban alcohol on Eid-e-Milad. No legislator or a private citizen has ever made this demand," BJP leader Eknathrao Ganpatrao Khadse told PTI.

"On one hand, we respect the sentiments of Muslims whose religion forbids them from consuming alcoholic beverages, and on the other it is Christmas Day on 25th... Sentiments of both these religions have left us in a dilemma. Though we have not decided on what has to be done, we will reach a final conclusion in a day or two," he added.

In their memorandum, Senior Congress leader Naseem Khan and AIMIM leaders Waris Pathan and Imtiyaz Jalil cited the ban on liquor sale on Mahavir Jayanti and Gandhi Jayanti every year and said that the state government should accept their demands.

Samajwadi Party state president Abu Asim Azmi and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil also backed their demands.

Earlier a ban on the sale of meat in Mumbai, owing to the Jain festival Paryushan, had triggered a huge controversy as several residents protested against the move that they claimed was a infringement of their fundamental rights.

Jains observe fast for eight days as part of their festival and the Ahimsa Sangh, Vishwamaitri Trust, had demanded a ban on sale of meat during their festival.

However, a ban of only four days was imposed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC). The civic body reduced it to two days as it faced heavy backlash from other communities. Another two-day ban imposed by the state government separately was stayed by the High Court.

BJP's ally in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, had also condemned the meat ban and accused the BJP of curbing people's right to eat what they want.