Is seeking votes in the name of religion a corrupt practice? The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen doesn’t think so.

“Asking for votes in the name of religion to uplift a backward community is not communal,” said Majlis president Asaduddin Owaisi, while speaking at the 56 Formation Day celebration of the party here on Sunday.

He recalled the sacrifices made by his father, Salahuddin Owaisi, and grandfather, Wahid Owaisi, for improving the lot of the minorities and said asking for votes for this purpose could not be construed as communal.

Referring to the defection of MLAs from different political parties, he said no party had candidates to contest the Hyderabad parliamentary seat because of the formidable hold of the Majlis here.

“Let the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, try his luck from Hyderabad,” he challenged amidst slogans of Majlis zindabad.

Mr. Owaisi used the occasion to urge the people to remain united to foil the mechanisations of Majlis detractors.

Bifurcation did not matter to the Majlis party as it had become the voice of minorities wherever they lived.

He asked party workers not to feel disheartened if they did not get the Assembly ticket.

“You have to accept the decision of the party leadership and work sincerely,” he said.

Earlier, Majlis floor leader in Assembly, Akbaruddin Owaisi asked people to ensure victory of the party candidates in the Assembly and Parliament elections.

For this, minorities have to close ranks and push up the voting percentage to at least 80 per cent, Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi said.

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