Hyderabad MP and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi has appealed to Muslims not to vote for him on communal lines but instead support him to improve their condition.
Addressing an election meeting Sunday at Sohawal block in Faizabad district in support of party candidate Pradeep Kumar Kori for Bikapur bypoll, the leader said, “Don’t vote for me on religious grounds. Don’t give me vote because I am a Muslim. But vote for me to deliver justice to Dalits and Muslims. Support me so that no Dalit or Muslim is beaten in the coming days. Support me to eradicate all your problems.”
Allowed by the state administration to hold rallies in the state, Owaisi, in the last four days, has attended two meetings in poll-bound Bikapur. He previously addressed a gathering in Bhadarsa on February 4.
Owaisi also invoked Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the country’s first education minister, to instill confidence among Muslims.
“Remember what Maulana Azad had said from Jama Masjid. You belong to a community which brought tremors and now today you are terrified. There is no need to kill anybody, no need to be afraid of anybody. Vote to become a political power. Remember Dr Ambedkar has given you the freedom to express and the to right to vote. Due to Ambedkar, this country did not become a Hindu Rashtra,” he said.
“I ask you to become a political power and this is possible only through voting for your party — AIMIM. Vote is your biggest ammunition. Use it and you will win,” he said.
Sending a warning to Muslims, Owaisi urged the community to rise above Iftar hosted by political parties. “You get floored by a Iftar party where they offer you dates. You feel privileged to get invitation from these parties. But take a vow that you will never attend any Iftar party and be prepared to eat the cream instead,” he said.
He also targeted political leaders, who, he said, “call me a communal person”. “Yes, I admit that in their eyes, I am a bad person, because I have a beard, I wear a cap and a sherwani. This (my attire) is the biggest concern for them. But tell me, did I become communal just because of this?”
Sensing the mood of his audience, which had a sizable participation of Muslim youths, Owaisi also targeted Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav. “They call me communal but if there is a marriage in your house, will you invite (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi? Tell me who invited Modi to their family wedding,” Owaisi asked as the crowd roared ‘Mulayam’.
This made Owaisi assert that he was “now satisfied”. “My meeting has become successful as you have understood what I want to convey. Not only he (Mulayam) invited Modi but all members of his family were busy clicking selfie with him. This is a drama company and you have to be aware of it.”
Owaisi added that both Mulayam and (Chief Minister) Akhilesh Yadav perform a drama, with Mulayam targeting his son and later retracting his statement. “I just want to say that to understand this drama, you have to become a political power. Don’t lose this chance and vote for my Dalit brother Pradeep Kumar Kori,” he urged.
Owaisi also claimed he has requested the administration to allow him to hold a rally in rain-starved Bundelkhand. “Today, it is drizzling (here). I want permission to hold a rally in Bundelkhand. I am hopeful that it will rain there as well when I visit Bundelkhand,” he said.
Bikapur assembly constituency goes to bypoll on February 13 along with Deoband and Muzaffarnagar. While SP has fielded Anandsen Yadav, RLD’s candidate is Munna Chauhan and BJP’s is Ramkrishna Tiwari.