The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Sunday raised the issue of Muslim reservation in Maharashtra. He said it’s the right time to raise the issue since the ruling establishment is not doing anything in this regard.
Speaking to India TV in an exclusive conversation, Owaisi said that he has shared the empirical data of Muslims in Maharashtra that contain details of the Muslim community’s backwardness socially and educationally in the state. “The reservation will strengthen the democracy and constitution and will help the state as well,” he said.
In Maharashtra, only 22 percent of Muslims take admission in primary schools while only 4.9 percent of Muslims graduate. When asked about the effect of his fight for reservation for Muslims in Maharashtra on the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections due early next year, he said right now he is just fighting for Muslim reservation in Maharashtra. “The socio-economic indicators in the state are very low for Muslims,” he added.
The erstwhile Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra had provided 5 percent reservation to Muslims in jobs and education in 2014. The Bombay HC quashed the Maratha quota but upheld the Muslim quota in education. “Bombay high court said you can give reservation to Muslims in education but not in jobs since it goes beyond the 50% ceiling,” said Owaisi.
“When you were not in power you demanded the reservation, but when you came to power you deliberately lapsed the ordinance,” said Owaisi while targeting the Congress party for using the votes of the Muslim community just for the sake of power.
Opposition alleges that between 2014 and 2019, the issue of implementing this quota for Muslims was allegedly not taken up by the then BJP-Shiv Sena government.
While speaking on the Gurugram Namaz row, he said many Waqf land properties have been encroached upon in Gurugram He further asked: “why written permission was given by the authorities since 2018, and what has happened now.”
Speaking on the UP elections next year, he said there is a need to provide a voice and political leadership to the Muslim community of the state. “If you need to solve all your issues and end injustice, then you need to need to create your leadership,” said Owaisi asking the Muslim community to use your voting rights judiciously.
On Saturday, he asked Muslims to shun “political secularism” saying it has not helped the socially and educationally backward sections of the community in getting a quota in jobs and education. Addressing a rally in suburban Mumbai, Owaisi said he believes in secularism enshrined in Constitution.
He said 83 percent of Muslims in Maharashtra are landless. “Does the heart of Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena beat only for Marathas?” he questioned. The standard of living of Marathas is much higher compared to Muslims in Maharashtra, he claimed.
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