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AIMIM likely to contest Bengal polls in 2021: Owaisi

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

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The AIMIM president’s comments comes after a veiled attack by Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) is likely to contest the April 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal, party President Asaduddin Owaisi said on Tuesday. His comments came in the wake of a veiled attack on the AIMIM by Trinamool Congress (TMC) President Mamata Banerjee.

On Monday, the West Bengal Chief Minister had told a TMC workers’ meet in Coochbehar: “Extremism is coming out among the minorities, just as there are extremists among the Hindus. There is a political party and they are taking money from the BJP, they are from Hyderabad, not from West Bengal”. Mr. Owaisi is the MP from Hyderabad.

 

Reacting to Ms. Banerjee’s remarks, Mr. Owaisi hit back by asserting that the State’s Muslims had the worst human development index.

“She should do some introspection on how the BJP won 18 seats in the State,” Mr Owaisi said. “Why this kind of arrogance when Muslims of Bengal voted wholeheartedly for you, despite that you make this allegation. Are Muslims of Bengal extremists? I condemn her statement,” he added.

Mr. Owasi asserted that the TMC chief’s comments betrayed her party’s nervousness. “ By making allegations against me you are giving the message to Muslims of Bengal that Owaisi’s party has become a formidable force in the State. Mamata Banerjee is showcasing her fear and frustration by making such comments,” he added.

The AIMIM, which has been working in West Bengal for the last one year, is, however, yet to contest municipal polls in the State. “If Mamata Banerjee wants a fight, I will give it to her; win or lose, we will go ahead,” Mr. Owaisi told The Hindu.

Empirical evidence suggested that the Muslims in West Bengal are living in a poor state, Mr. Owaisi contended. “She is not able to answer relevant question, that is, how is it that Muslims in Bengal have the worst human development indicators. You are in power for so many years, what have you done so far,” he wondered. Out of 50 aspirational districts, at least four to five are from West Bengal and three or four of these are Muslim-dominated districts.

Mr. Owaisi asserted that the Muslims had changed and ‘tokenisms’ like holding iftaar parties wouldn’t work any more. “What is extremism? Extremism is when you don’t empower the Muslims, give them their rightful share of education and reservations, don’t allow a political leadership to emerge. Mamata Banerjee is practising this extremism,” Mr. Owaisi contended.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:14:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/aimim-likely-to-contest-bengal-polls-in-2021-owaisi/article30021129.ece

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