Hours after the electoral trends hinted that the Mahagathbandhan alliance between the Congress party, RJD and other affiliate parties may not be in a position to form a government on their own, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera blasted at the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for “partnering with majoritarian right-wing radicalisation”. Khera claimed that AIMIM indulged in minority radicalisation which had benefited the NDA alliance in the recently concluded Bihar elections.
Khera was responding to host Rajdeep Sardesai’s question if the Congress party would seek AIMIM’s support to form a government in Bihar. While Khera responded that he is not the right person to make the overtures to Owaisi and would leave it for the party leadership to decide on the future course, he did not shy away from attacking Asaduddin Owaisi for counter-radicalisation.
“There is no difference between the majority and minority radicalisation. Owaisi’s counter-radicalisation by contesting in some seats is not the answer to BJP’s communalisation,” Khera said to journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on an India Today show.
AIMIM chief Owaisi lashes out at the Congress party for blaming him for radicalisation
However, Owaisi was not one amongst those who would take the slight lying down. He tore into the Congress party, reminding them of their predicament in the Bihar Assembly elections and accused them of shifting the blame of their defeat on the AIMIM.
“I am being accused of being radicalising. It shows the intellectual dishonesty of the Congress spokesperson. I am contesting elections to ensure that it doesn’t get radicalised. The Congress, as a party, failed to give voice to that area. Your party contestants said that they will break arms and legs of AIMIM, is this not radicalising? You lose every seat, your MLAs run away to BJP at the waving of a finger, what kind of politics are you practising?” Owaisi said.
Owaisi also flayed Congress for its sanctimonious attitude towards others while struggling in its political battles across the country.
“Congress has this holier than thou attitude. They just assume everyone must prostrate in front of them. Sorry, I won’t do it. Your days have gone. You have contested on 70 seats. What’s your predicament there is for everyone to see. And you are accusing me of radicalisation simply because my party chose to contest the elections? We are fighting the elections to ensure that radicalisation does not happen,” Owaisi blisteringly responded.
Owaisi further added that Congress is in no position to level allegations of radicalisation on others when their own history is replete with instances when they have taken decisions that have radicalised the youth of the country.
“It is a joke to say radicalisation is happening because of me. Who opened the Babri structure locks? Who did the ground-breaking ceremony? Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister then. Who demolished the Babri structure? Who was the prime minister then? Didn’t that lead to radicalisation?” Owaisi asked Khera.
The Congress leadership is politically impotent to take on the Modi government: Owaisi
To this Pawan Khera responded that Owaisi is strengthening the communal forces in the country by helping the BJP and its alliances to gain power in the elections.
“Maybe PM Modi is smiling tonight. Hopefully, he won’t because we are struggling our way(to form a government in Bihar). That’s what you achieved in Maharashtra. So please don’t be ‘holier than thou’ and accuse us of radicalisation. You are strengthening the communal forces and therefore, I accuse you of counter-radicalisation,” Khera said.
Owaisi shot back asking the Congress spokesperson if Congress was so committed to the ideal of secularism, why did it ally with a party like Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Owaisi pointedly asked Pawan Khera if he thinks Shiv Sena is a secular party.
The AIMIM chief said that it was the Congress party which was primarily responsible for the BJP coming to power.
“Congress and its leadership are politically impotent to take on the Modi government. As far as my party is concerned, we will fight elections, whether win or lose, we will contest for those people who don’t have the voice, for the downtrodden. Our main job is to strengthen the democracy of India and we will tell the people who have been wrongly told that secularism can be kept alive only with Congress, it can be kept alive with other parties also,” Owaisi said.
AIMIM won 5 seats in the Bihar assembly elections
Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM was in the fray for 20 seats in the Bihar assembly elections, As a part of the Grand Democratic Secular Front, it fought alongside four other parties, including Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. It won 5 seats in the 243-seats Bihar Assembly.