Published By: Kavya Mishra
Last Updated: May 29, 2023, 23:22 IST
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the inauguration of the new Parliament saying he took only Hindu ‘pujaris’ (priests) inside the building and charged that the event seemed like the “coronation of a Sultan of Delhi”.
Addressing a public meeting in Adilabad town of Telangana on Sunday, Owaisi asked why the Prime Minister did not take religious leaders of other faiths inside the new Parliament after its inauguration.
“The opening of new Parliament building happened. I saw on TV, Prime Minister was going inside the Parliament and 18-20 Hindu pujaris are following him (inside the Parliament) chanting mantras. Prime Minister, you took only the Hindu pujaris. Why did the Prime Minister not take Christian pastor, Muslim maulana and religious leaders of other religions inside (the new Parliament)?” the Hyderabad MP asked.
“Prime Minister, India does not have a single religion. India follows every religion. It is regrettable that the PM took religious leaders of only one faith into the new Lok Sabha. I wish you were big-hearted to also take Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, and Jains (religious leaders) inside,” Owaisi said.
“It did not seem like opening of new Parliament building but looked like the coronation of the Sultan of Delhi. Is this secularism of India? Prime Minister should not have done this. Mr Modi, you are the Prime Minister of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, tribals and Prime Minister of 130 crore people. You are not Prime Minister of any single religion,” Owaisi said.
The grand inauguration of the new Parliament in New Delhi on Sunday included a havan, a multi-faith prayer ceremony and the installation of the Sengol (sceptre) in a special enclosure in the Lok Sabha chamber.
Regarding the Telangana polls slated to be held later in the year, Owaisi said the AIMIM played a role in defeating BJP in the 2014 and 2018 state Assembly elections and does not want the saffron party to rise in the state.
The AIMIM chief said he would discuss with the people and party leaders to take a decision on how many Assembly seats it would contest in the upcoming elections in Telangana indicating plans on fielding candidates in constituencies outside the old city of Hyderabad (AIMIM stronghold). “I have come to consult you and Majlis leaders and then decide on it,” he said.
He said the AIMIM has been fighting the BJP to protect India, secularism, and ‘Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb’ (syncretic culture of Hindus and Muslims) in Telangana.
“They (those accusing the AIMIM) blame Owaisi of cutting into their votes. Did AIMIM contest from Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Secunderabad Lok Sabha seats (in 2019 elections), but the BJP won there. I did not fight and BJP won there. And who is blamed?” Owaisi asked.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah knows that until AIMIM remains strong in Telangana, the BJP’s saffron flag cannot be unfurled on the Secretariat, Owaisi asserted. “As long as Majlis (AIMIM) is strong here, they cannot do mob lynching in Telangana in the name of cows,” he alleged.
On the accusation by Shah and others that the car’s (BRS party symbol) steering is in the hands of Owaisi, he said the BRS government spent Rs 2,500 crore on development of temples and for pujaris there while the annual budget of minorities in the state is Rs 2,200 crore.
“The government spent Rs 1,200 crore for Yadadri temple (abode of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha). I don’t have any objection. The Islamic Centre (in Hyderabad) was not built but the Telangana Chief Minister is going to inaugurate Brahmin Sadan,” Owaisi added.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)