There is no Muslim vote bank in India; Modi demolished that myth in 2014: Asaduddin Owaisi at Times Now Summit

Speaking at the Times Now Summit 2021, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi touched upon various issues like Hindutva ideology, representation for Muslims, Uttar Pradesh election and the main challenger before Narendra Modi in the next Lok Sabha elections.

New Delhi: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday said that he believes in Indian nationalism and not the supremacy of any particular religion or ideology.

Speaking to Padmaja Joshi, Consulting Editor (Politics), Times Now, at the Times Now Summit 2021 here, Owaisi said this is how he is different from BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

“The difference between me and Yogi Adityanath and Pragya Thakur is that I believe in Indian nationalism and they believe in Hindutva nationalism. My nationalism is inclusive, while theirs is exclusive. In my nationalism, there is no objective of the supremacy of one religion or ideology,” the Lok Sabha MP said.

‘Hissedari ki ladai hai yeh’

Quizzed on why his party’s name mentions a particular community while that of the BJP includes the Hindi name of India, Owaisi said: “The name of the community (Muslims) is there in my party’s name as we desire for a participative form of democracy”.

“I want an equal share for Muslims in India’s political system, in education system etc. This will strengthen our country more, it will also reflect pluralism and democracy,” he said.

Owaisi asserted that India as a country does not have any religion and that it celebrates all religions.

“(Whereas) Hindutva nationalism talks about one ideology and dominating other ideologies, it also talks about the supremacy of one particular religion and does not celebrate diversity,” the AIMIM president said.

Owaisi claimed that the Hindutva ideology is contrary to India’s Constitution. He also asserted that he does not support any form of extremist ideology.

“Any form of communalism is bad for our country. I am not promoting communalism; I want an equal share for Muslims. Hissedari ki ladai hai yeh,” he stated.

‘BJP biased towards Muslims’

To drive home his point about Muslims being allegedly marginalised in India, Owaisi said Gujarat has not had a Muslim MP since 1984 and this does not reflect the participative form of democracy.

“Only 4.5 per cent Muslims are there in the Lok Sabha, what does that speak about our democracy? There was no Muslim minister in 2020 in 15 states, what does this say?” he asked.

When Padmaja pointed out that there might not have been a deserving or capable candidate, Owaisi responded by asking whether the BJP had failed in finding a single capable Muslim across India who could have won the Lok Sabha election.

“We will see in the Uttar Pradesh elections how many seats they give to Muslims,” Owaisi said.

The AIMIM chief, who has announced that his party will contest next year’s UP Assembly Elections, reiterated that he only desires representation for all castes in legislatures across India.

“Political empowerment leads to solving of major issues being faced by any community,” he said.

Owaisi referred to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case to hit out at the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for being biased towards the Muslim community.

“What happened in Lakhimpur? Why did the UP government not act? Because they (accused) belonged to the upper caste and they want their vote in the next elections. They (the government) acted only after the Supreme Court’s intervention,” Owaisi said.

‘Muslim vote bank does not exist’

The MP stressed that only Muslims can solve their problems as there is no such term as ‘Muslim vote bank’.

“We have been telling Muslims that they should be the master of their destiny. They should solve their problems by achieving political power, by having representation in legislatures,” Owaisi said.

“There has never been a Muslim vote bank in India, there has always been a Hindu vote bank. Narendra Modi shattered this myth of there being a Muslim vote bank” by winning the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he said further.

Commenting on the various incidents of lynching or deaths in police custody in Uttar Pradesh and in other states, Owaisi said a bias has always been seen in how the government deals with cases where Muslims were victims compared to when victims were from other religions, say Hindus. The same goes for other political parties as well, he said further while citing various examples.

During the interview, Owaisi also hit out at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its chief Mohan Bhagwat.

“When I talk about the participative form of democracy, pluralism and diversity, am I trying to turn this country into a theocratic state? Am I saying one religion will have supremacy over the other? I am not saying this, but the BJP is doing that. The RSS people have been saying this day in and day out,” the Muslim leader rued.

When Owaisi said that Mohan Bhagwat had called Muslims ‘attackers’, Padmaja sought to correct the AIMIM leader and pointed out that the RSS chief had actually stated that Muslim invaders were attackers.

Owaisi also stated that he was of the opinion that Islam came to India through traders.

Commenting on the UP elections, Owaisi reflected upon the Congress party’s chances and said that the main opposition party has been whitewashed everywhere.

“They are number three in Maharashtra now, but they used to be number one there,” he said, adding that he feels the people of India will be the main opposition to Narendra Modi in the next Parliamentary Elections.

Times Now

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button