Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ramzan-Diwali remarks, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi today wondered whether “Gujarat was celebrating Ramzan or Diwali” during the 2002 communal riots in the state. On Modi’s shamshaan-kabristan comments, he asked if the Prime Minister realised that his demonetisation move “claimed lives of close to 150 people”. Addressing a rally in Fatehpur yesterday, the Prime Minister had stressed that there should be “no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion”, and said if there is a ‘kabaristaan’ (graveyard), there should be a ‘shamshaan’ (cremation ground) too.
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He had also said, “Agar Ramzan mein bijli aati hai, to Diwali me bhi aani chahiye, bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye (If there is electricity during Ramzan, it must also be available during Diwali, there should be no discrimination).” Addressing a rally in Allahabad (South) Assembly constituency, where his party has fielded a candidate, Owaisi asked, “Was Gujarat celebrating Ramzan or Diwali when communal riots took place in the state in 2002 when he was the chief Minister?” “The Prime Minister has triggered the debate over burial grounds versus cremation grounds. Does he realise that demonetisation has claimed lives of close to 150 people. These people had to reach shamshan (crematoriums) or kabristan (graveyards) due to note ban,” the Hyderabad MP said.
He also alleged that Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav are “two faces of the same coin” as “400 riots have taken place in Uttar Pradesh the last five years”. “As many as 400 riots have taken place in the last five years, including in Muzaffarnagar even though the SP government had made a budgetary allocation of Rs 16,000 crore for the police,” the AIMIM chief said.
“There is no difference between Modi and Akhilesh. Both are two faces of the same coin. One may be called the big brother and the other one the little brother”, Owaisi said.
“My fight is not against any religion. My fight has been and will remain against forces like the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, Modi and the Sangh.
“Secularism has been reduced to a mere slogan which political parties use to hoodwink the poor people and get their votes,” he alleged.