Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma for his comments that APJ Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist despite being a Muslim.
According to media reports on Monday, the AIMIM chief has also demanded Sharma's dismissal for "suspecting" the nationalism of 17 crore Indian Muslims.
Owaisi, while addressing a meeting here on Friday, said it was a travesty that even after 69 years of independence, the nationalism of Muslims was being suspected by a minister and wondered if Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his opinion.
"He (Sharma) clearly says that the late (President) Kalam despite being a Muslim was a nationalist and humanist. What does that convey? In plain and simple language, it clearly says that Muslims cannot be trusted.
"It is a travesty that even after 69 years of independence of this great nation, we have a minister in the Modi cabinet who is suspecting my nationalism," he said.
He called Sharma, the Union Culture Minister, an "uncultured" man who must be "kicked out" from the Union government.
Owaisi demanded that the Prime Minister clarify whether his government viewed the 17-crore Muslims of the country as "not nationalists".
"Is this the opinion of the Prime Minister that this government views 17-crore proud Muslims in India as not being nationalist... I would like to know from Modi who has said that he wanted Muslims to have Quran in one hand and computer in the other hand," he asked.
"We have renamed Aurangzeb Road after a person, who despite being a Muslim, is a great nationalist...," Sharma had told a news channel recently.
With PTI inputs