HYDERABAD: In a controversial speech, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday insisted that to keep secularism alive in India, Muslims need to fight together and vote for candidates from their own community.
“Qasim's death will make us think. But I am not asking you to shed tears. I beckon your conscience to rise. These people talking about secularism are the biggest dacoits ... biggest opportunists. They used Muslims for 70 years, threatened us, forced us to keep quiet,” said the lawmaker from Hyderabad.
“Now you need to fight for your rights. If you want secularism to stay alive, then fight for yourself. Become a political force to reckon with. Make sure your (Muslim) contenders win,” he added.
Openly attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Owaisi referred to recent Hapur lynching incident, Owaisi said, “They used abusive language…throwing expletives at him…and how many arrests were made? Only two.”
“It is happening under your rule…is this your idea of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” attacked Owaisi.
In Hapur, Muslim cattle trader Qasim (38) was lynched, while Shamiuddin (65) was badly thrashed by an irate mob allegedly on the suspicion of cow slaughtering in Bajhera Khurd village of Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
A video of the incident, showing the men in a pool of blood, went viral, forcing the police to apologise for the incident.
On Monday, Owaisi had said that both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress were hankering for the Hindu vote bank. He added that the Muslims had always been deceived by saying 'you have a vote-bank'.