KICKING OFF the election campaign from Kairana in Muzaffarnagar’s Shamli district on Friday, Asaduddin Owaisi asked Muslims to vote for the AIMIM as it is the “only party that belongs to the community”. He claimed that “no one in the SP cared for the blood of his Muslim brothers during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots”.
“Kisi maai ke lal me dum hai jo mujhe Uttar Pradesh me aane se rokey. UP kisi ke baap ka nahi hai (No one has the courage the stop me from coming to Uttar Pradesh. UP is not anyone’s property),” the AIMIM chief said while addressing a huge crowd on Kandhla Road. Owaisi, displaying SP’s 2012 poll manifesto in one hand and the Indian Constitution on the other, targeted the Akhilesh government for promising 18 per cent reservation for Muslims. “…He only gave a few cycle rickshaws and laptops, which were of no use,” he alleged.
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Citing “unfulfilled promises of SP” and claiming that BJP was spreading hatred, Owaisi told the gathering how they have been “used” by parties. Requesting them to give AIMIM a chance, he said: “Shamli me loota jata hai…. Dadri me Musalmano ko mar diya…. Muzaffarnagar me maaon behno ki izzat looti gayi. Magar inhone kya kia?… Paanch lakh le lo…. pandrah lakh le lo…. Musalmano ke khoon ki keemat bas itni hai?… Hume khud ki keemat pehchanani hai… Aap sab ab apni party ko vote dijiye (People were robbed in Shamli… Muslims were killed in Dadri… Mothers and sisters were raped in Muzaffarnagar. But what did these people do?… They said take Rs 5 lakh, Rs 15 lakh… Is that the value of Muslims?… We will have to know our value… Please vote for your party this time).”
While particularly targeting SP, Owaisi only referred to BSP or its chief Mayawati twice in his 46-minute speech. “The biggest leader in India, even bigger than Mahatma Gandhi, is Baba Saheb Bheem Rao Ambedkar,” he said in his attempt to woo the Dalit community. Slamming the Centre over the recent video of a BSF jawan eating burnt food, Owaisi said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who applauds surgical strikes, serves boiled pulses and uncooked chapattis to soldiers.”
“Demonetisation has led to the closure of the glass industry in Firozabad and brass industry in Moradabad. The lock industry in Aligarh is fully locked. Almost three lakh labourers of zardozi are unemployed in Lucknow. But Mr Modi is happy that he banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes… Notebandi ne Hindustan ka satyanaash kar diya hai (Note ban has ruined India),” said Owaisi.
Addressing the rally, AIMIM spokesperson Shadab said, “When passengers in Kanpur (train accident) died, Mulayam called off his birthday celebrations. When hundreds of our Muslim brothers died in Muzaffarnagar, ‘Mulla Mulayam’ was watching dance (performance) in Saifai. This is how they treat us.”