Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s verbal attack against his party, saying, “It is not religious extremism to say that Bengal’s Muslims have one of the worst human development indicators of any minority. If Didi is worried about a bunch of us ‘from Hyderabad’ then she should tell us how the BJP won 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal.”
Ms Banerjee had accused the Hyderabad MP of “dividing communities”, and asked whether she “took money” from the BJP to allow its 18 MPs win in her state. Her statement “demeans the Muslims of West Bengal,” Mr Owaisi said.
Ms Banerjee, while participating at an event in Cooch Behar on Monday, had said, “Extremism is emerging among minorities just as there are extremists among Hindus. There is a political party and they are taking money from the BJP, they are from Hyderabad, not from West Bengal.”
Ms Banerjee did not name Mr Owaisi or the MIM when she addressed the rally in the district bordering Bangladesh.
Mr Owaisi pointed out, “If our work is extremism according to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, then I can’t say anything. Extremism is that she let the BJP enter West Bengal and she is looking down on Muslims of the state, as the human indicators of Muslims in the state are very low.”
While asking the so-called secular parties including Ms Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress to “Please stop appeasing Muslims for votes,” Mr Owaisi said that “we need political empowerment not appeasement. These so called secular parties need Muslim votes but they would not give political representation to Muslims.”
Stating that the remarks betrayed the Chief Minister’s “fear” and frustration, Mr Owaisi pointed out that “by making allegations against me you are giving the message to Muslims of Bengal that Owaisi’s party has become a formidable force in the state. Ms Banerjee is showcasing her fear and frustration by making such comments.”
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