Take steps for Muslim empowerment, Owaisi tells Centre

Hyderabad, Sep 28: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that if the Narendra Modi government is really concerned about the empowerment of Muslims, it should take concrete steps like providing reservation and demand-driven scholarships to the community.

"Let the Modi government ban 'gau rakshaks' (cow protection vigilantes) to prove that it is genuinely concerned about the minorities," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader said.

The Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad told the media here that constructive steps will help achieve the community's empowerment and not mere holding of panchayats.

He was reacting to the government's move to hold 'progress panchayats' among the Muslims. The first panchayat is proposed to be held in Haryana.

He said the Centre is launching such panchayats from a state where two Muslim females, including a minor, were raped and two Muslim youths murdered on beef consumption accusation.

"The Muslims in Haryana are being harassed in the name of checking their biryani. Let them raid five-star hotels in Gurgaon and check the biryani there," he said.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also prove his sincerity by stopping statements emanating from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders that hurt the sentiments of the minorities.

Owaisi said empowerment of the Muslims was the constitutional duty of the Modi government and it was not doing a favour to the community.

The AIMIM leader also demanded five per cent quota to the Muslims in Maharashtra as per the Mumbai High Court order.

"You are giving job quota to the Jats in Haryana, to the economically backward classes in Rajasthan and to the Patels in Gujarat. Who is stopping you from extending reservation to the Muslims in Maharashtra," he asked.