Sanjay raut Shiv Sena muslims
Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut addresses a press conference in Mumbai on Oct.20, 2014. [Representational Image]IANS

Shiv Sena Parliamentarian Sanjay Raut said in an editorial published in the party's mouthpiece Saamna that Muslims will have no future if they are used as vote-banks and thus their voting rights should be revoked.

In the article, he lashed out at All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leaders – Asaduddin and Akbaruddin Owaisi -- who he alleged were "exploiting" the Muslim community and using vote-bank politics for their own benefit.

"As long as Muslim votes are for sale, the community will remain backward and its leaders will become rich", IANS quoted the Rajya Sabha MP as saying. 

"Owaisi and his party are like a snake which, if fed, will do no good to the nation. AIMIM is an old snake... AIMIM is trying to show they are fighting for the rights of Muslims... It is identical to what Congress did with Muslims to get votes... But in reality, Muslims are being exploited for votes," The Indian Express cited an excerpt from the editorial.

With this, Raut reiterates founder of Shiv Sena late Bal Thackeray's demands made about 15 years ago. He said that Balasaheb wanted the same for a few years to stop vote banks politics.

"As long as this vote bank politics continues, Muslims will be away from the main stream. So Balasaheb said for social development of Muslims, they should be kept away from politics for a while," the editorial said.

Even BJP MP Sakhshi Maharaj, who had previously invoked controversy by his remarks, supported Raut's demands. "BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj supports Shiv Sena's demand to revoke voting rights for Muslims," ABP News tweeted.

Raut and the party were, however, slammed by people on Twitter and Congress for "spreading hatred".

"The Saamna thinks it lives in some Talibanised land and not in a democratic country like India. The Saamna has no place in culture like ours," Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters in New Delhi.

Here's what Twitterati thinks about Raut's remark

Although, Raut's remark enraged netizens who in turn lashed out at the party, it also sparked a debate on the social media platform. People were of the view that it is true that Muslims have been misguided by their leaders but taking away their fundamental rights is not a solution.