HYDERABAD: Hyderabad MP and leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sparring over the usage of the word 'Muslim'. He questioned if it was a dirty word which politicians think leads to polarisation.
"The most unfortunate thing that has come out of recent controversy of Muslims not being part of this party or that party, statements of Cong president and PM Modi. What is the message you're sending to Muslims, that usage of Muslim word will lead to polarisation, it's a dirty word," Owaisi asked.
His statement comes amid the controversy that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi allegedly called Congress a 'party of Muslims'. However, Rahul on Tuesday said that the religion, caste or beliefs of people matter little to the Congress. "I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress," he tweeted on Tuesday.
An Urdu daily had reported that the Congress chief who met Muslim intellectuals told them that the Congress was a party of Muslims. However, the Congress had dismissed the media report as a 'rumour' and said that it was a party of 132 crore Indians. "When the government is on the path of lying, then rumours become the main policy of the government," Congress' communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala had said.
Attacking Rahul for his remarks to an Urdu daily that the Congress was a Muslim party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the Gandhi scion if his party is only for Muslims or for women too. "I have read in the newspaper that Congress President has said that Congress is a party of Muslims, I am not surprised by this. All I want to ask is, is their party only for Muslim men or for women too? These people violate laws and attend Parliament sessions," the PM had said during a rally.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had also questioned Rahul's silence over the controversy. Accusing Rahul Gandhi of 'patronising' the minority community, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, "When Rahul Gandhi goes to Gujarat for elections, he becomes a janeudhari (one who wears the sacred thread) and flaunts his Brahmin lineage. He does the same in Karnataka. Now when the elections are over, he starts patronising the Muslims. The issue is why Rahul Gandhi is maintaining conspicuous silence. Why he is not speaking?"