September 21, 2021 12:01:08 am
Criticising Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his “abba jaan” remark, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) supremo and Member of Parliament from Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi, said that not a single Muslim in UP has received a house under Prime Minister Gramin Awas Yojana in the past five years.
During his visit to Ahmedabad on Monday, Owaisi said that the UP CM should have stuck to the term “pitaji” instead.
The AIMIM chief also announced that his party would contest the 2022 Assembly elections in Gujarat “with all strength”.
Speaking at a press conference, Owaisi, in reply to UP CM’s remark that Owaisi was in UP for polarisation politics, said, “If he believes that it is polarisation politics then why did he use the term abba jaan and why not pitaji. This is called dog-whistle politics that Yogi is indulging in.”
Claiming that the UP CM had given false data to claim good governance when the state has 33 lakh unemployed youth registered on the state portal, Owaisi said, “The rate of unemployment in UP is 10 per cent. When bodies were flowing in the Ganga, when people were unable to afford wood for the cremation of their loved ones, was that polarisation? We ask him to show us even one Muslim who received a house under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana from 2017 to 2021.”
“The highest illiteracy rate, highest dropout rate, is of Muslims in UP. Only 2 per cent of Muslims in UP are graduates. Over 4 lakh kids in UP are suffering from acute malnutrition. There are over 1,400 doctors’ vacancies… If they are saying that there were no riots in UP in the past five years, that is also false. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows over 1,000 communal violence incidents were registered in UP,” Owaisi added.
Owaisi tried to meet jailed former MP Atiq Ahmad in Sabarmati Central Jail in the morning but he was denied permission by the jail authorities. “The Sabarmati jail authorities denied permission to Owaisi to meet Atiq Ahmad on the ground of Covid-19 protocols and also since he is not Ahmad’s blood relative,” AIMIM Gujarat president Sabir Kabliwala said.
Ahmad, who has several criminal cases lodged against him, was in June 2019 transferred to the high-security Sabarmati Central Jail here from the UP’s Naini jail, where was lodged for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a businessman, on directions of the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, Ahmad’s wife Shaista Praveen joined the AIMIM at a press conference in Lucknow, while the jailed former MP joined the Owaisi-led party in absentia.
A week ago, Owaisi had met the family of Ahmad in UP and claimed that he will field him as a candidate in the UP Assembly elections. The UP government has designated Ahmed a “gangster”.
When asked what kind of message Owaisi was giving by fielding a “gangster” in polls, he said, “It (gangster) is a very subjective term. Over 37 per cent of MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party in UP face criminal charges and the CM himself had got a case against himself withdrawn. The BJP also has an MP from Madhya Pradesh, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, who had praised Nathuram Godse and cursed late police officer Hemant Karkare. BJP has withdrawn criminal cases against its leaders who are accused of the Muzaffarnagar riots. Similarly, Atiq Ahmad also has criminal cases but he is allowed to contest elections. Just because his name is Atiq Ahmad, he has become guilty unless proven innocent.”
Interacting with party workers in Old City Ahmedabad, Owaisi said his party would “fight the 2022 Assembly elections in Gujarat with all strength”. The AIMIM had forayed into Gujarat politics with local body polls earlier this year.
“We have met people in different constituencies. Our Gujarat unit will decide on how many seats to contest. We will field Hindu candidates also as we need votes from all sections of the society.
The Congress in Gujarat is saying that there are only three Muslim MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha and they will also lose if we contest elections here. I want to ask them (Congress) that why have they made a scenario in Gujarat that out of 182 seats, only three are won by Muslims.”
Owaisi also attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claiming that he couldn’t preserve his “family seat” in the Amethi constituency of UP.
“Their leader lost their family seat in Amethi and we did not contest over there. He won in Wayanad where there are 35 per cent Muslim voters. And they allege us of being the B team of the BJP, I would go one step ahead and claim that we are now A team of BJP,” said Owaisi.
With PTI inputs
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