New Delhi: It’s an “insult” to Muslims that political parties want their votes but don’t want to talk to or about them in their campaign, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi has said, pointing out the contrast in the leaders’ response when it concerned Sikhs, another minority community.
He was indirectly referring to the outrage expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other leaders about Sam Pitroda’s controversial remarks earlier this week about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
“All of them started talking about Sikhs but nobody is talking about mob-lynching, systematic marginalisation of Muslims. They (so-called secular parties) say don’t talk if you want to defeat the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party),” said Owaisi.
“We (Muslims) are not anyone’s captive. The BJP came to power because of you (those parties) and now you want our votes but won’t even come to us to campaign… Naam nahin, campaign nahin, yeh Muslims ki tauheen hai (No name, no campaign, it’s an insult to Muslims),” Owaisi, president of AIMIM, told ThePrint Saturday.
“This is not good for democracy in the long run.”
Also read:If a Naseeruddin Shah feels unaccepted, then what about me, asks Asaduddin Owaisi
Absence of Muslims in electoral campaign
Owaisi’s outrage came in the context of the near-blackout of Muslims in the speeches and campaign planks of so-called secular parties such as the Congress and many non-BJP parties.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been targeting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP, accusing them of having a divisive and communal ideology. However, he has refrained from talking about Muslims and their causes in this election season. The Congress president has rather been making headlines by visiting temples and proclaiming himself as “janeu-dhari” Shiv-bhakt.
The approach of other so-called secular leaders has been no different either as they largely avoid Muslims during their poll campaigns.
The Congress’ hesitation to woo Muslims is attributed to senior party leader A.K. Antony’s post-2014 polls report, blaming the party’s worst-ever performance on the perception of it being a pro-minority party.
“It’s sending a very wrong message. Are you (secular parties) not alienating Muslims? Khul kar bol do rajneeti Hindu vote-bank ki chalegi (Say clearly politics of Hindu vote-bank will prevail). For how long will they be silent? Won’t it lead to their marginalisation and ghettoisation?” said Owaisi.
The AIMIM leader said that parties were talking about all samaj or communities or group but “go dumb” when it came to Muslims.
“If you want Muslim vote, nayi dulhin ki tarah se bolne mein kyon sharma rahe ho (If you want Muslim vote, why are you coy like a new bride in seeking it?)” he asked.
Also read:Amit Shah can learn a lot from Asaduddin Owaisi on candidate selection
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