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Owaisi to hold rally in Azamgarh, will target SP for riots

A bitter critic of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Hyderabad MP will woo Muslims — the core votebank of the ruling SP in UP — at the rally.

Lucknow |
Updated: February 6, 2014 2:38:48 pm
Though local police are yet to give permission for holding the rally, Kaleem Jamai, the organiser, claimed that Muslims from across the state are supporting the event and will be participating in it. Kaleem Jamai, the organiser, claimed that Muslims from across the state are supporting the event and will be participating in it.

Spelling a fresh bout of trouble for the Akhilesh Yadav government in UP, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi is set to hold a rally at Sanjarpur village in Azamgarh district on February 1.

A bitter critic of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Hyderabad MP will woo Muslims — the core votebank of the ruling SP in UP — at the rally.

“Obviously, I am focussing on Muslims. Fingers will be raised on the state government and its Muslim leaders over Muzaffarnagar riots as they are in power with a massive mandate,” Asaduddin Owaisi, told The Indian Express over phone.

He asked Azam Khan, the in-charge minister of Muzaffarnagar, to introspect. “Several riots, including that in Muzaffarnagar, have occurred in UP during the SP regime. The barbarism that Muslims faced cannot be described and only few people have been arrested so far. The Muslim leaders of SP should answer it,” he said.

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Though local police are yet to give permission for holding the rally, Kaleem Jamai, the organiser, claimed that Muslims from across the state are supporting the event and will be participating in it. Hoardings and posters have already come up in
Azamgarh.

The location — Sanjarpur village — has been strategically chosen. It had hit the headlines in September, 2008, after two youths, said to be Indian Mujahideen operatives and belonging to this village, were killed in a police encounter at Delhi’s Batla House.

Owaisi, however, said his meeting has nothing to do with the Lok Sabha elections. He also ruled out expanding his outfit in UP. “It is too early to say. I am not going (to Sanjarpur) for Lok Sabha elections. My effort will be to develop local leadership. When AAP can emerge in Delhi, Dalits and Yadavs can have their own party, then Muslims too should think in this regard,” said Owaisi.

A video clip of Owaisi’s speech targeting Mulayam, Akhilesh and Azam Khan over Muzaffarnagar communal riots is being circulated widely. In the video clip — reported to be Owaisi’s speech in Maharashtra — he has held the trio responsible for riots.
“It is an era of technology now. Nothing can be hidden. Anyone can record the speech and it can be circulated,” Owaisi said.

However, Jamai, said the video clip is “both a boon and bane”.

“After its circulation Muslims are contacting us for support while the police have withheld the permission for the rally. We, however, are making arrangements for 50,000 people,” he said. Azamgarh SP (Rural) K K Choudhary confirmed that permission for organising Owaisi’s meeting is still “under consideration”.

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