In a left-handed compliment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday suggested that he is quicker than the cheetah when it comes to evading serious issues.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader, who arrived here on a two-day Rajasthan trip, called the recent Varanasi court order in the Gyanvapi mosque- Shringar Gauri case a “setback” and said it went against the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
He also criticised the Uttar Pradesh government’s move to conduct a survey of madrassas in the state.
Owaisi’s cheetah remark – made in a lighter vein, he said — came when reporters asked the Hyderabad MP to comment on plans to reintroduce the fast big cat to the country.
Modi is set to release eight cheetahs being brought from Namibia into the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on his birthday on September 17.
Owaisi said the prime minister “moves faster” than the cheetah when issues like inflation or unemployment are raised, his remark suggesting that Modi runs away from such matters.
“When we talk about unemployment, Modi leaves even the cheetah behind. When we ask about China occupying our territory, Modi ji is quicker than the cheetah,” he said. “He is very quick in these matters, we are telling him to go slow.” “Wo bolne mein bahut tez hain,” Owaisi said, implying that the PM can talk his way out of tricky situations.
“I am saying all this in a lighter vein so that the UAPA is not invoked against me,” he said, referring to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The eight cheetahs will arrive on a customised Boeing 747-400 aircraft from Namibia’s capital Windhoek and then flown to their new home in helicopters.
The AIMIM head denounced the recent Varanasi court order that rejected a plea by the Gyanvapi Masjid committee questioning the maintainability of the petition that sought daily worship of deities whose idols are located on the mosque’s outer wall.
“The verdict is a setback. This will open up other such matters and could create a destabilizing effect,” he said.
On the UP government decision to conduct surveys of privately-run madrassas, Owaisi said he has already called it a “mini NRC”, referring to the National Register of Citizens controversy.
“Why are only unaided madrassas being surveyed? Why is there no survey of RSS schools, and the private and government schools,” he said.
On the hijab row that erupted in Karnataka earlier this year, he said, “I believe that the hijab is a necessary religious practice for Muslims. It is our cultural right. If government schools are allowing other religious symbols, why is the hijab not being allowed?” “If a woman is wearing it, she is wearing it on her head and not on her mind. If a girl wants to wear a hijab, why do you want to stop her,”he said.