HYDERABAD — Asserting the need for a nationwide independent political voice for Muslims to achieve their rights, All India Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi said that Indian Muslims have been cheated in the name of secularism for the last 70 years. Bihar, he said, was the latest chapter in this saga of exploitation.
Addressing a public meeting in remembrance of party revivalist Moulana Abdul Wahed Owaisi at Mehboob Chowk here late on Tuesday, the Hyderabad MP said RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav should have known Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar better. “From the beginning, we have been saying that Nitish is a flip-flop master,” he said.
Hinting at a possibility of working with Lalu, Owaisi however made it clear that any support would be issue-based. “You have to do justice to Bihar Muslims, particularly Seemanchal people. Do not think that we are ready to support you out of fear of BJP,” he said.
Stating that the 5,000-year-old Hindu civilisation and culture in the country was in danger due to the activities of cow vigilantes and Hindutva ideology, Owaisi said that neither he nor his party were against Hinduism or Hindus. “But I will oppose Hindutva forces till the last breath of my life,” he said.
Reiterating that the Majlis, in its present form, has nothing to do with the razakars, Owaisi said that Qazim Razvi and his supporters had gone to Pakistan while the true Majlis supporters remained here and pledged to work under the Indian Constitution. Abdul Wahed Owaisi had revived the Majlis with a new shape and Constitution, he pointed out.
Coming down heavily on Congress leaders in Telangana, the MIM leader said that they were terming him communal, but at the same time, their party president Sonia Gandhi had called him seeking MIM support for Meira Kumar’s candidature, which he had agreed to.
“Even Gopal Krishna Gandhi telephoned me seeking MIM support and I voted for him in the Vice-Presidential election,” he said, adding that MIM would not support any communal force at any cost.
Describing Ahmed Patel as a big Muslim leader of the Congress, he said the BJP used all its strength to defeat a Muslim and even Congress legislators had shifted their loyalty to BJP because Patel was a Muslim. “Congress has introspect, with its own senior leader Jairam Ramesh saying that the party’s faith is in danger now,” he said.