Mumbai: In his first visit to the state legislature complex here as an MLA of MIM, journalist-turned politician Syed Imtiaz Jaleel on Monday said his party was being selectively targeted for 'hate-speeches'.
"I don't condone the hate speeches. But why single out MIM leader (Asaduddin) Owaisi for the hate speeches? What about others who go scot free for making similar hate speeches," Jaleel said during an interaction with journalists.
"You cannot differentiate between people. The law should be same for all," he said.
Jaleel, who worked with Lokmat Times and a private TV channel in his 23-year-old career, said he had not thought until two months ago that he would change his 'job'.
"My organisation wanted me to stay on till October and cover the Assembly elections, which I ultimately ended in contesting," he said.
His switch-over from journalism to electoral politics has been one of the interesting stories of the Maharashtra polls, as is his party's strong debut in Maharashtra.
"I had seen a lot of dirt in media. I used to meet people who told me that even mediapersons are 'sold'," he said. "I had planned to go into teaching but a meeting with Owaisi, who sought my suggestions on picking MIM candidates for Marathwada region, led to his persuading me to contest," he said.
"At first, I took the offer casually but relented later when he insisted that I contest," Jaleel said.
"Our next target is Aurangabad municipal corporation polls due in six months," said Jaleel, whose party has two members in the 288-member Assembly.