All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday demanded reservation for backward Muslims in government jobs and educational institutes in Maharashtra.
“Mr. Prime Minister, in your speech in Parliament, you referred to your vision of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ (together with all, development for all). Therefore, you (PM) should pick up the phone and tell Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to extend the benefit of quota to backward Muslims so as to improve their living conditions,” he said.
The 45-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad was addressing a public gathering here last night. Braving unseasonal drizzle, a large number of people attended the rally, Owaisi’s first in Nagpur, which headquarters RSS.
Claiming that “injustice” has been done to Muslims in Maharashtra, Owaisi blamed the over 50 years of rule of Congress at the Centre and Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena-BJP administrations in the state for the prevailing backwardness among the minority community members.
Quoting figures from Sachchar Committee and a number of other panels and also Minorities Commission, he painted a grim picture of the living conditions of Muslims across Maharashtra and said they lack access to even basic amenities.
He said education level among Muslim children and youth was abysmally low. “In this backdrop, why is the state denying the socially, educationally and economically backward giving what is their due?” Owaisi asked.
The current BJP-Sena Government refused to introduce a Bill in the last Winter Session of Assembly to replace an ordinance brought by the erstwhile Congress-NCP administration on Muslim reservation in jobs and education, he said.
“I am always accused of making communal statements and controversial remarks. But I am the one who calls spade a spade. Why don’t those accusing me of being intemperate ponder over the serious issues I raise?” he asked.
“Let the RSS bosses here get the message loud and clear – I will not sit quiet till this demand of reservation for Muslims is accepted,” asserted Owaisi.
He ridiculed suggestions that the Hyderabad-based AIMIM, which won two Assembly seats in Maharashtra in last Assembly election, was a ‘BJP creation’ to wean away Muslims and Dalits from the Congress party.
Owaisi maintained he was against the ideology of Hindutva, but not against Hindus.