FACING FLAK for his remarks on chanting of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said he did not need a “certificate of patriotism” from anyone.
“We (Muslims) do not need ‘deshbhakt’ certification from anyone. We do not require any proof. Those who are questioning our patriotism are traitors. From 1857 to independence, these people had no existence while we shed our blood and were hanged by Britishers. We never pleaded for forgiving our sentence,” Owaisi said while addressing party workers in Lucknow.
Raising slogans of ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ and ‘Jai Hind’ at the party meeting, Owaisi said Muslims have made big sacrifices for the country and their patriotism could not be “questioned” just for the sake of a slogan. “We have groomed this country with our blood,” he said.
Referring to the ban imposed on him by the administration in the state capital, Owaisi alleged that the Samajwadi Party government was hand in glove with the BJP. “It is an open secret that the SP and BJP are two sides of the same coin. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has been given permission to hold public meetings and stay in Lucknow, but a ban was always imposed on us because in reality, the SP government is afraid of us,” the AIMIM chief said.
Owaisi was scheduled to visit Lucknow along with Faizabad, Azamgarh and Ambedkarnagar earlier this month. He was also scheduled to address a rally in Lucknow but was refused permission by the administration citing law and order issues. Following this, Owaisi’s entire UP tour was cancelled.
Announcing that SP and BJP were its main rivals in the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad MP told party workers, “Our fight is against both SP and BJP… AIMIM’s contest is with 10 per cent of the people as 90 per cent are with us. Our main plank will be ‘Jai Bheem-Jai Meem’,” hinting towards Muslim-Dalit consolidation.
The AIMIM president claimed that the SP dispensation in Uttar Pradesh has failed on all fronts and accused it of “deliberately” keeping Muslims backward. “Muslims are pushed back in the field of education. It promised 18 per cent reservation to Muslims, which has not been fulfilled. The government has made no provision for the welfare of Muslims in its budget. SP never bothers about the Muslims and it fails to even utilise funds meant for minority development,” he said.
Referring to the recent bypoll in Bikapur Assembly seat in Faizabad district where AIMIM candidate Pradeep Kori had polled nearly 11,000 votes, Owaisi said it indicated the trend of Muslim voters in UP.
Earlier, the AIMIM chief offered prayers at the dargah of Haji Waris Ali Shah here and went to Dewa Shareef. Later he held a closed door meeting with Rector of Islamic seminary Nadwatul Ulema, Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadwi, who is also the president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Hundreds of Nadwa students had gathered there and raised slogans in his favour, despite teachers of Nadwatul Ulema asking them to refrain from sloganeering.
Meanwhile, SP supporters showed black flags to Owaisi and shouted slogans against him during his visit to the Old City.
Owaisi also met Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad at his residence. AIMIM had participated in Jawwad’s stir against Akhilesh government last year which had led to the locking of two Imambaras in Lucknow.