March 18, 2016 5:19:33 am
AIMIM CHIEF Asaduddin Owaisi targeted the Congress Thursday, saying the “hollowness” of the party leadership’s rhetoric in JNU and Hyderabad University on freedom of expression stands “completely exposed”.
“In initiating and supporting the resolution (for suspension of AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan), the shallowness and hollowness of the Congress leadership’s rhetoric in JNU and Hyderabad University stands completely exposed. There the party had talked about how important it is that the voice of dissent should not be suppressed, yet its own MLAs supported this resolution. In fact, Waris Pathan told me that Congress MLAs were even more vocal than BJP MLAs. The soft Hindutva of Congress and the hard Hindutva of BJP — this is why I am against both,” he said.
“When I was with the Congress, they were happy with me. Was I a holy cow or Raja Harishchandra then? The politics of both Congress and BJP is ‘nationalist if you are with us, anti-national if you aren’t’. In every form of parliamentary democracy, the first thing is there should be no slogans (in the House). This must be the first instance when a legislator has been suspended for not shouting slogans,” said Owaisi.
Asked if his objection to “Bharat Mata ki jai” was about a particular definition of nationalism or due to religious and historical reasons, he said: “All of them. My Constitution does not require me to chant Bharat Mata ki jai and the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the preamble of the Constitution protect my rights not to say it.
How can that become the test of my loyalty to my country? I am perfectly happy to say Jai Hind. There are religious and historical reasons too. I do not object to others saying it, but I will not,” he said.
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