Akbaruddin Owaisi | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT
What about Muslim representation as Congress has six, and BRS three. What does this bode for the Indian democracy?
Whether Parliament or Assembly, this is proof of injustice. Their representation has been decreasing. Political parties are responsible for this. There is no Muslim minister in Central government. In Telangana, it has been happening for years altogether. Muslims are being used against Muslims. We have poor Muslim representation in our State. To defeat MIM, many Muslims are available for them. They are being used only for votes and then, the issues are forgotten.
The Karnataka Model is being spoken about ahead of Telangana elections. Is this equivalence appropriate?
Are the minorities, and Muslims in particular, facing the same situation? If that is the case, then I would have said what Congress is saying, is okay. But, when that is not the situation, then how can you cite the Karnataka model. Girls are not being stopped from wearing hijab? Is the Azaan being stopped? Are Muslim scholarships being stopped? The answer is no. There is no comparison here.
The BJP leadership has been speaking about scrapping reservations for Muslims. What is your take?
It is so sad that they are blinded by their want to come to power. Commenting on an issue that is sub-judice is not right. Let us all wait for the decision of the Supreme Court.
Muslim socio-religious organisations that have some influence are not fully supporting the BRS. One such organisation released a list that affirms its support for 70 Congress candidates in Telangana. Do you think this will impact the elections?
I think most organisations, and learned, educated and religious people support the AIMIM. They agree with its stand. There are a few fringe elements who have no presence in the community. Today’s list also supports 41 BRS candidates and seven AIMIM candidates.
Your comments directed at a police officer have become controversial.
I had valid permission to organise the public meeting till 10 p.m. There was time before the deadline. He [Santosh Nagar SHO] pushed aside the crowd, he climbed the stairs and got onto the stage. He was creating disturbance by pushing aside the public, moving them aside. The public got worried, the attention was diverted from the speaker to the one who was pushing people. Had I continued after 10 p.m., he most certainly can book a case. This is how how they want to deprive Muslims of even legitimately raising their voices. It was the same police that in Uttar Pradesh in whose custody two people were killed.
What would you list as your achievements in the Telangana legislature?
I have been successful in getting the rights of Muslims on a par with SCs, STs, and BCs [non-statutory benefits]. Scholarships were denied earlier but now, ₹6,000 crore have been spent on education alone. The second achievement is that my party was successful in getting work sanctioned worth ₹25,000 crore. I don’t think this is a joke. Work worth ₹14,800 crore have been taken up by MA&UD alone.
What is the one thing you would like to change in the Assembly?
The Assembly should work for more days. It is sad that nobody is asking this. The budget session was for eight or 10 days only. All the demands are being passed, appropriation bills are simply happening. My only request to the CM and BRS, which I am sure will come back to power, is to kindly have more working days in the Assembly. Important issues such as women’s safety, pollution and traffic congestion need to be discussed. We don’t want to have the same situation as Delhi. We should sit more, discuss more, and find solutions to the problems which people are facing.