Hitting back at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his ‘Nizam’ barb at him, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi Wednesday said he was an Indian by choice and an equal citizen and a partner in the country.
The Hyderabad MP was responding to Adityanath’s recent remarks at a rally in poll-bound Telangana that Owaisi would have to “run away” from Hyderabad, just like the Nizam, if the BJP came to power in the state.
Owaisi also criticised Adityanath for coming to Telangana for election campaign at a time when there was tension in Bulandshahr in the northern state.
“I am number one citizen of India, an equal citizen and I am not a tenant. I am a partner here,” he told a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by Press Club of Hyderabad.
He said unlike Yogi, he is an Indian “by choice”.
“We (Indian Muslims) rejected Jinnah’s (two-nation) theory. We accepted India and we always accept that India is our homeland. You cannot treat us as second class citizens. BJP’s ideology is to treat Muslims as unequal citizens,” Owaisi claimed.
In an attack on Adityanath on Sunday, Owaisi had said India is his father’s country and no one is running away.
Addressing a poll rally here, he had also alleged that Adityanath was speaking the language of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP and that he was ignorant about history.
MIM’s fight is to get “our share” in politics, society and development, Owaisi said.
Though anyone is free in a democracy to conduct election campaign, Adityanath coming to Telangana for canvassing at a time “when state is burning” shows his callousness, he claimed.
“The law and order machinery is breaking. Good luck to him. I hope that the people of Uttar Pradesh will realise that what a callous, reckless and irresponsible chief minister they have got,” he said.
Hoping that Uttar Pradesh Police would also realise that the chief minister was not there to grieve with the families when one of their officers was shot dead, Owaisi said, “Adityanath is doing “election tourism”.
A police inspector and a youth were killed on Monday as a mob protesting the alleged illegal cow slaughter went on a rampage torching a police post and clashing with police in Uttar Pradesh.
Asked about his plans to expand the party in other states and the Congress’s allegation that MIM contested in states like Assam which benefited the BJP, he said his party did not contest in Assam.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi was neither properly briefed nor he reads properly, he claimed.
Expansion of party is a natural process, Owaisi said.
“To counter janeudhari leader of the Congress party, why are you contesting against me in Hyderabad. That is a very natural question. Because, this politics of entitlement will not work in India,” he added.
On Uttar Pradesh DGP’s reported comments that the Bulandshahr incident could be a conspiracy, he said the police chief needs to say as to who hatched and supported the conspiracy.
The accused belong to Bajrang Dal, Owaisi claimed.
He slammed BJP candidate from Goshamahal in Hyderabad Raja Singh for his alleged remarks that “we will cut down the throat”.
On Modi’s charge that TRS, Congress, TDP and AIMIM promoted families of its leaders, he said there were many BJP leaders whose children are holding posts, including the son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who is an MP.
He claimed that people of Hyderabad and Telangana have accepted that Modi, Amit Shah, Chandrababu Naidu and Rahul Gandhi have all “ganged up against Asaduddin Owaisi”.
Attacking Modi, he alleged that there was no need for the prime minister to talk about “kabristan, shamshan, Ramzan”.
Scientific temper needs to grow, he said.
Replying to another query, he said the Election Commission has been up-to-date and trying its best to see that political discourse remains decent. But, it is for the people to understand and reject language which is unparliamentary.