Lucknow: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has deplored the political condition of Muslims and said that they are like “band, baaza party” at weddings. The AIMIM leader made these remarks in Kanpur during which he also lamented the fact that the Muslims have no representation despite constituting 19% population in Uttar Pradesh.
“The condition of Muslims has become like a ‘band baja party’ in a marriage procession where they (Muslims) are first asked to play music, but are made to stand outside on reaching the wedding venue,” the AIMIM president said.
“Now Muslims will not play the instrument. Even every caste has a leader, but Muslims have no leader. There is 19% Muslim population in UP but there is not a single leader,” Asaduddin Owaisi said in Kanpur.
Owaisi has recently announced that his party – AIMIM – will be contesting next year’s Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh on the promise of creating leadership among Muslims. His announcement has created unease in the political parties that so far considered the Muslims as their core “vote bank”.
Different castes, including Jatavs, Yadavs, Rajbhars and Nishads, which constitute a relatively small part of the population of Uttar Pradesh, more or less have their own leadership, but Muslims, who account for more than 19 per cent of the people in the state, do not see any united leadership.
So the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), led by Owaisi, wants to end the “slavery” of Muslims in the hands of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress, which had been using them as their “vote bank”, according to the leaders of the party.
There are 82 Assembly segments in the state where Muslim voters are in a position to make or mar the political fortunes of the candidates. Buoyed by winning five seats in last year’s Bihar polls from the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region, which gave jitters to the RJD and the Congress, Owaisi has already announced that his party will field candidates in 100 of the 403 seats in the Uttar Pradesh election expected to be held early next year.
The Hyderabad MP launched his poll campaign from Ayodhya earlier this month and since then, has been addressing public meetings at different places. According to AIMIM national spokesperson Syed Asim Waqar, the main goal of the party is to create a political narrative and leadership among Muslims for the progress of the community and a better future.
The SP and the BSP have accused Owaisi of serving the interest of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by trying to divide Muslim votes and dismissed any possibility of the AIMIM having any impact in the country’s political heartland.
Senior SP leader Abu Azmi discarded Owaisi as a “vote-katwa” (splitter of votes) who is acting on behalf of the BJP to damage the poll prospects of the Samajwadi Party. State media coordinator of the Congress Lallan Kumar said Owaisi remembers Muslims only at the time of elections and claimed that the minority community has traditionally supported the grand old party.
According to Census 2011 data, Muslims account for 19.26 per cent of the population in Uttar Pradesh. They can play a decisive role in 82 of the state’s 403 Assembly constituencies. Muslims constitute 50.57 per cent of the population in Rampur, 47.12 per cent in Moradabad, 43.04 per cent in Bijnor, 41.95 per cent in Saharanpur, 41.3 per cent in Muzaffarnagar, 40.78 per cent in Amroha and above 30 per cent in Balrampur, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Meerut, Bahraich, Gonda and Shravasti.
Owaisi’s party will contest the Uttar Pradesh polls as part of the “Bhagadari Morcha” formed by Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president Om Prakash Rajbhar.