Hyderabad

‘Muslim vote bank a myth’

President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), Asaduddin Owaisi talks to journalists during meet the press in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: Nagara Gopal

President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), Asaduddin Owaisi talks to journalists during meet the press in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: Nagara Gopal   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

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Majlis leader Asaduddin Owaisi thanked Prime Minister Narender Modi for breaking the ‘myth’ of Muslim vote bank. The NDA victory proved the notion wrong, he said.

“In fact there never was a Muslim vote bank in the country. It was all a figment of imagination. The community always looked to leaders like Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad and others,” Mr. Owaisi remarked.

He was participating in a “Meet the press” programme organised by the Telangana Union of Working Journalists at the Press Club here on Tuesday.

In an hour long question and answer session, Mr. Owaisi waxed eloquent about the political developments in the country after the general elections. The dwindling representation of Muslims in the Parliament, he said, is not good for democracy. “The community’s representation had fallen from 28 to 22. The ruling BJP does not have a single Muslim MP. What should one make of Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s remark asking Muslims to “have faith in the majority community”, the Majlis leader wondered.

Political reservation is essential for development of Muslim community. Mr. Owaisi saw dichotomy between what the Prime Minister says and the ruling party does. Mr. Modi spoke of Indian Muslims not siding with ISIS and Al Qaida while a BJP MP dubbed madrasas in the country as ‘factories of terrorism’.

Appointment faulted

Mr. Owaisi faulted the appointment of Surya Prakash as chairman of Prasar Bharati, when his views on minorities are well known.

The Hyderabad MP wondered at the hue and cry being made over his party’s success in Maharashtra. Some eminent journalists had gone to the extent of portraying him as communal. People of Mahrashtra had given their verdict accepting his party in some places and rejecting in some. “One has the right to disagree with my politics but none can call me anti-national”, Mr. Owaisi said.

He said the Majlis success in Maharashtra had boosted the confidence of Muslim youth in parliamentary democracy and hoped to replicate the result in UP, Karnataka and West Bengal.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:22:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/%E2%80%98Muslim-vote-bank-a-myth%E2%80%99/article11005285.ece

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