February 8, 2021 2:22:54 am
President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday lambasted the Congress for calling his party the ‘B’ team of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said it was the former that was ideologically in cahoots with the BJP by fighting by adopting “Hindu nationalism”.
Earlier in the day, the AIMIM leader exhorted Muslims, tribals and communities “who are denied rights” to get united and kicked-off the party’s first election campaign in Gujarat at Bharuch, where Chhotubhai Vasava, founder of the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), also shared the dais. Both the parties have entered into an alliance for the upcoming local body elections in Gujarat.
Addressing a huge gathering on the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Owaisi said the AIMIM will counter the Hindu nationalism “with Indian Constitution and Indian nationalism”. “Where ever we go, they (Congress party) brand us as the ones who are in cahoots with BJP, that we are B team and C team… In reality, you are in cahoots with (BJP)… your ideology is adulterated… If you were good, you would have defeated the BJP in Gujarat. You neither have the power, nor planning nor intellectual honesty. You are in cahoots (with the BJP). You want to fight BJP’s Hindutva with Hindutva. You want to fight Hindu nationalism with Hindu nationalism,” Owaisi said.
“What message does Majlis (AIMIM) give? That the Hindutva will be fought with Constitution which has been framed by Babasaheb Ambedkar. Hindu nationalism will be countered by Indian nationalism,” he added.
“Had these people (Congress leaders) been good, Owaisi would not have come here from Hyderabad… They are scared of Modi, RSS… They are scared of death… Members of AIMIM are scared of only Allah…,” Owaisi said.
AIMIM is debuting in Gujarat politics with 21 of its candidates fighting the election in different wards of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, voting for which is on February 21.
“Those who say that Asaduddin Owaisi has come to Gujarat (for the first time) do not know that I had come here in 2002 as well… with a team of 25 doctors from Hyderabad and medicines worth Rs 50 lakh,” Owaisi said.
He then mentioned about his medical camp at Shah-e-Alam dargah where 10,000 families, ravaged by the (2002) riots, had taken refuge. Owaisi said that initially very few people went to his medical camp. Subsequently, the number increased and few people opted go to government medical camps as they felt “our medicines were effective”, Owaisi said.
He also mentioned that he came to Gujarat in 2006 when a controversy erupted following demolition of a dargah in Vadodara. “I didn’t have ulterior motive then nor now. If somebody is raising questions over my motive, I want to tell them that I have seen those bad days. I still remember the scenes then (2002 riots),” Owaisi said.
Owaisi said that China dared to enter Indian territories in 2020 because it knew that the Indian government was busy spreading hatred between communities and that its focus was not on defending the borders.
In Bharuch, the AIMIM leader said that the party would lay its “foundation stone” in Gujarat. “We have come to Gujarat as one more alternative to the people… especially tribals, Muslims, Dalits and OBCs… Our motive is not to just success in elections, but to protect the protect the constitutional rights of the poor and Muslims as well as to protect the land of tribals…,” he said.
Referring to the BJP and Congress as “mamu” and “bhanja”, he added, “We will start from Gujarat and will go to Rajasthan where mamu and bhanja (referring to BJP and Congress) united and did not allow Chhotubhai Vasava’s candidate to become chairman. They wanted to keep us in slavery. Muslims, tribals and the communities who are denied rights should get united and become stronger to fight and protect our rights.”
Taking on the BJP government in the state, Owaisi said, “The Gujarat government has enacted the Disturbed Areas Act, which is against the Constitution. The tribals demanded the implementation of schedule 5 of Constitution, which they denied…One cannot sell one’s land or house, and you don’t give protection to the tribals… Then how can Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas be achieved.”
The AIMIM chief added, “Today a media person asked me a question, “why have you come to the land of Modi and Amit Shah?”. I replied that Gujarat is a part of India and I am a citizen of India, I can go to any corner of the country… Gujarat will always be remembered for Gandhi… Amit Shah and Modi will not be taller than Gandhi.”
Referring to the farmers’ protest in Delhi, he said, “The farmers of India disturbed the sleep of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi… The BJP is worried…” Appealing to the gathering to pray for the agitating farmers, he said, “We are with the farmers as they are ‘anndata’… The PM should call them to his house and treat them the same way he treated (former US President) Obama and his team…”
Owaisi also remembered tribal leader Jaipal Singh Munda and late Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
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