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Unite as a political power, Owaisi urges UP’s Muslims

The Narendra Modi government is not punishing MoS Home Ajay Mishra Teni, whose car was part of a convoy that mowed down farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in October, only to appease the Brahmin community, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged on Saturday, urging Muslims in Uttar Pradesh to “unite” for protecting their own interests.

“I have only one mission in this state. I have come to you with folded hands… Muslims in Uttar Pradesh must strengthen their leadership,” the AIMIM chief said while addressing a rally in Meerut. “All communities have found their political leaders. If you want education, jobs, respect, and freedom from police torture, you must unite yourself into a political power.”

With elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly slated for early next year, the Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad has been campaigning hard in the state as part of his ‘Mission 22’, with the key pitch of organising the Muslim community as a political force.

Citing the examples of “Dalit leader” Mayawati, and “Yadav leader” Mulayam Singh, Owaisi said Muslims will have to “give rise to leadership” that establishes the interests of the Muslim community. “There is a BJP leader Teni. A conspiracy was hatched and his son’s vehicle crushed four people. Modi who calls himself a leader, doesn’t want to upset Brahmin community and that is why no action has been taken against him,” Owaisi said, referring to the Lakhimpur Kheeri incident. Mishra’s son and 13 others have been arrested, but the BJP has so far rejected calls for the minister’s removal.

Launching an all-out attack against his opponents, the AIMIM leader said the Muslim community had been wronged “over the years” and that most of “dropouts and undertrials” were from the community. “When will Muslims wake up? I want you to become aware about the things that are happening. You have supported all these political parties and we have got nothing in return,” he said.

Owaisi also slammed Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav for “not giving back” to the Muslim community. “Akhilesh Yadav couldn’t give justice to those affected in Muzaffarnagar riots. When Muslims wanted reservation, his party did nothing when it was in power,” he said.

At the rally, the AIMIM chief also criticised the central government for increasing the legal age for marriage for women. “Government allows you to sign contracts at the age of 18 and to even vote for your leader. But you cannot marry someone. This government is afraid of the institution of marriage,” he said, adding PM Modi is like “an uncle who keeps checking what one eats, where one travels and how one prays.”

Ali Ahmad, son of former Prayagraj MP Atique Ahmad, also addressed the rally. Atique, who is at present lodged in a Gujarat jail, and his wife Shaista joined the party in September this year.

The AIMIM is likely to contest on 100 out of 403 assembly seats in the state.

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