Alliance forged by people from oppressed classes: Owaisi
Hitting out at both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi said on Tuesday that minorities and backward communities in the country were never more oppressed since the Modi government came to power in May 2014.
Mr. Owaisi, along with Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambedkar, addressed a rally in Aurangabad which saw a huge turnout of members from the minority and other backward communities (OBC). The rally marks the first public event of the two leaders who recently forged an alliance with an eye to consolidate the Dalit-Muslim-OBC votes ahead of elections next year.
“Who has given us the Indian Constitution? Was it the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or Narendra Modi or [Devendra] Fadnavis or the Gandhi family?” he asked. Mr. Owaisi said the country’s electorate was torn between the impotent policies of the BJP and the vote-bank politics played by the Congress for the last 70 years.
“While I’m aware that today is October 2, I maintain that it is Babasaheb Ambedkar, and not Gandhiji, who was the greatest leader the country has seen for it was he who truly gave us the concept of equality through the Constitution,” Mr. Owaisi said.
A total of 12 such public events are expected to be held across the State by both parties, focussing on a wide range of issues ranging from the injustices committed against the backward communities and minorities, to the plight of farmers.
“This [BBM-AIMIM coalition] is an alliance engendered by oppression, forged by peoples from all oppressed classes in the State and country. Our problems are the same. I urge everyone to safeguard our Constitution by rallying behind Prakash Ambedkar , the grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar and overthrow the ruling BJP at the Centre and the State,” said the AIMIM chief.
Mr. Ambedkar questioned why the BJP-ruled government was targeting activists by labelling them ‘urban naxals’, but was not interested in investigating the activities of the right wing Sanatan Sanstha.
Both Mr. Ambedkar and Mr. Owaisi have presented the alliance as an alternative to the divisive politics of the BJP and the hollow promises made by the Congress and NCP during their terms at the Centre and State.
In the 2014 elections, both BBM and AIMIM failed to win a single seat. In the Assembly polls that year, AIMIM won two seats and the BBM secured one seat in the Maharashtra legislature.