February 7, 2021 8:06:18 pm
Exhorting Muslims, tribals and communities “who are denied rights” to get united, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday 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.
Stating that the AIMIM would lay its “foundation stone” in Gujarat, Owaisi said, “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…”
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.”
Citing a study by IIT Roorkee, Owaisi said that over 40 lakh people were displaced in the country, of which over 60 per cent were tribals. “They have announced eco-sensitive zones in 121 villages near the Statute of Unity and are taking away land and water from tribal areas…,” he said.
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, “Narendra Modi once said that he is from poor background… they should then understand the poor farmers who have been fighting for two-and-half months… over 100 lost their lives. We are with the farmers as they are “anndata”… PM should call them to his house and treat them the same way he treated (former US President) Obama and his team…”
Sharing his experience in fighting assembly elections in Bihar, Owaisi said, “We put 20 candidates, of which five were elected… they were from Simanchal area, one of the most backward areas in our country. Poor people have given us their blessings…”
Owaisi also remembered tribal leader Jaipal Singh Munda and late Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
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