Updated: February 6, 2022 2:45:08 am
“I appeal to my brothers to vote not only with the sole aim of defeating BJP candidates but vote for ensuring the victory of our people in the fray,” Owaisi said, campaigning for his party candidate Anees in Baghpat’s Asara village in Chaprauli. It was his first meeting after Thursday’s attack on him in western UP.
Owaisi said joining hands with him would only be to the benefit of SP leaders, and that staying with Akhilesh Yadav would be their undoing. “Aisa karne mein hi bhalai hai. Ab agar baith gaye to hamesha ke liye ghar baith jayenge (This is the right thing to do. If you delay now, you will be out of the race forever),” the AIMIM leader said.
In his poll speeches, Owaisi has been attacking the BJP and SP in equal measure, inviting charges of having a deal with the BJP and cutting into the Opposition’s minority votes. Owaisi has also accused the SP of not wanting an “independent leadership of Muslims in UP”.
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On Saturday, he also advised leaders who had been denied tickets by the SP to come to his party for tickets from constituencies of their choice. “Do not beg for tickets from the SP,” he said.
The AIMIM has so far announced candidates for 66 seats, most of them with a sizeable population of Muslims.
AIMIM state chief Shauqat Ali Saturday said that while they initially planned to field around 100 candidates, they might now go up to around 175. “We have got very good response from able candidates in 240 of the total 403 seats,” Ali said.
Owaisi said attacks such as the firing at his car on Thursday did not scare him. “Those who killed Gandhi, they are the same people who shot at me. If you have the guts, kill me. Ek Owaisi marega toh lakho paida honge (If one Owaisi gets killed, lakhs will be born),” said the Hyderabad MP.
His car had been hit by bullets at Ghaziabad’s Chijarsi village. Two people, including one with right-wing links, have been arrested.
Owaisi said the attack was the result of the poor law and order situation under the Yogi Adityanath government. Having rejected the Centre’s decision Friday to give him Z-plus security, the AIMIM leader said: “I do not need Z-category security cover. If you can, provide security to the people of UP. If you cannot protect me, then there is no need for categorised security cover for me.”
Speaking about the law banning instant triple talaq, Owaisi asked why neither the RLD chief Jayant nor Akhilesh had lodged a protest at the time. The RLD and SP have joined hands for the coming elections.
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