Gujarat was there before Modi, will be there even after him: Asaduddin Owaisi

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi Sunday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP’s new campaign sloganAa Gujarat Me Banavyu Chhe (I have made this Gujarat)” and the Morbi bridge collapse, which killed 135 people.

Campaigning for the AIMIM’s Jamalpur candidate Sabir Kabliwala at Mirzapur in Ahmedabad ahead of the Legislative Assembly polls, Owaisi said, “He (PM Modi) is saying he has made Gujarat. Is it that Gujarat had nothing before he became the chief minister? Did Gujarat not exist? This Gujarat was made by Saurashtra’s women, Dangs, Adivasis, Vadgam Dalits, Bannis cattle grazers (maldharis) and fishermen. Gujarat was there before, is there, and will be there even after Modi….Yes, he did make one thing in Gujarat and that is he made the Morbi bridge which killed 150 (135). Aapne Gujarat ko nahi banaya, aapne Gujarat ke janta ko bewaqoof banaya (You did not make Gujarat, but you made fools of the Gujarat public). You showed an illusion and Morbi’s bridge (collapse happened). You say you have made Gujarat? Who is responsible for the bridge collapse? We expect the country’s prime minister will also remember the Morbi bridge… You have only made fools of us….”

Commending Taufeeq and Hussain, two youths from Morbi who had assisted in the rescue operations to save lives after the bridge collapse, Owaisi posed questions on the implementation of the Disturbed Areas Act. “I want to ask the PM and the BJP if Husainbhai and Taufeeqbhai can buy any house in Gujarat. You have imposed Disturbed Areas Act, and they can’t… Can the BJP assure Husainbhai and Taufeeqbhai that if their children are held on false charges of stone pelting, they won’t be brought into the public for flogging? Today can the BJP assure that when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is recorded, Taufeeqbhai and Husainbhai will not be asked to prove their citizenship? You say you have made Gujarat but your government released the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. When we raise these issues, we are told that Owaisi gives divisive speeches. I’ve not spoken against any religion. Neither the AAP talks about Bilkis Bano. Who goes and talks to Zakia Jafri?”

Owaisi attacked Kabliwala’s former party Congress too. The Jamalpur constituency is presently held by Imran Khedawala of the Congress. “If anyone can stop the BJP in Jamalpur, it is Sabirbhai…The troubles that the people of Jamalpur, especially in Mirzapur, face, we will try to fix these. Gujarat has 36 slaughterhouses, of which 32 have been closed and only four are working. I want to assure you that in the coming Assembly elections if you make Sabirbhai successful, your Sabirbhai will solve the issues that our Qureshbhais (the butcher community) are facing in their slaughterhouses and its business…Our aim to fight the Assembly elections is so that your voice reaches the Vidhan Sabha, there is an Opposition that fearlessly works for the issues being faced here… Some will say that Sabirbhai was voted from here earlier, then what is the difference between then and now. There is a big difference that Sabirbhai’s voice will not be controlled by the Congress or some other party…Sabirbhai will reopen factories that have been closed,” he said.

“People say that when the AIMIM contests, the BJP benefits. For 27 years, the BJP has been successful and the AIMIM is fighting the Gujarat assembly elections for the first time. So then tell me, the Congress party you voted for, was it hand in gloves with the BJP, or did it strike a deal with the BJP? You voted for the Congress but what did it do for you? It could not stop the BJP from winning. I am saying with full responsibility that stopping a party from coming to power is not our responsibility, but it is our responsibility that we in our strength use our vote and make a voice of ours reach Vidhan Sabha…. This is the same Congress from which 12 MLAs switched sides to the BJP. Congress is the godown and BJP is the showroom. They move from the godown to be in the showroom,” said Owaisi.

Not sparing the AAP and its chief Arvind Kejriwal, Owaisi added, “There is a new party called the AAP. When Covid-19 started in Delhi, this ‘chhota recharge’ accused the Tablighi Jamaat of spreading Covid so that they could be defamed. The matter went to the court which said these were baseless allegations. When riots were happening in Delhi, burning houses and killing people, where was this Delhi CM? Instead of pacifying anger, he went to Delhi’s Raj Ghat to sit in silence. Today they claim a lot of big things but go to Okhla in Delhi where fires are burning in the garbage pile and they do nothing about it. This ‘chhota recharge’, when they were asked to speak on Bilkis Bano, they said ‘we won’t talk on Bilkis Bano’…This ‘chhota recharge’ is basically saying ‘I’m a smaller version of Modi and now I want to be a bigger version of Modi’. He is following in the BJP’s footsteps… If you vote for the Congress or the AAP, the BJP will benefit,” Owaisi added.

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