Based on a report “AIMIM’s MP Owaisi to support UPA”  by Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad: July 20, 2008; www.rediff.com; posted on Foil by satish kolluri)


The member of the Indian Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi, while expressing strong reservations about Indo-US nuclear deal said that for him the top priority is to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from coming to power. Owaisi said that the BJP and the CPIM were the two sides of the same coin and contended that Advani is the number one enemy and Prakash Karat is second. – Ed.


Asaduddin Owaisi, the Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad belonging to the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimmen supported the United Progressive Alliance government in the July 22 confidence vote. He said at a press conference in Hyderabad: “We have strong reservations about the impact of Indo-US nuclear deal on foreign policy aspects but for us the top priority is to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party and L K Advani from coming to power. That is the why the MIM has decided to support the UPA government.”  Owaisi said that the he expressed the reservations and concerns over the nuclear deal to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and added:  “The Prime Minister categorically assured me that there will be no compromise on foreign policy. He told me it would be unworthy of him if he compromises as prime minister of this great nation as far as foreign policy was concerned.”


Owaisi said that the prime minister also assured him that the government will go ahead with the Iran gas pipeline and he was strongly opposed to any military action against Iran as it would be disastrous for India too. “We will express our reservations on the foreign policy impact but at no cost would we like to see the BJP coming in to power, at no cost we would like to see Mr Advani, who is an accused in Babri Masjid demolition case becoming the prime minister of this great nation, thereby destroying the future of Muslims and weakening the secularism.” Owaisi also lashed out at the Left parties specially the Communist Party of India-Marxist saying the BJP and the CPIM were the two sides of the same coin.


“BJP is an open enemy of secularism and Muslims and CPM’s hatred is shrouded in its ideology. That is the only difference. We feel Advani is the number one enemy and Prakash Karat is second. Bush is there but as far as I am concerned my immediate adversary, the person who is against my identity is Advani and how do I stop him,” Owaisi said.


Asad Owaisi said that the AIMIM was with the UPA since Manmohan Singh government came in to power in 2004 and was satisfied with he measures it took for the welfare of minorities, specially the Muslims.


Owaisi said that the party had taken note of steps like giving ex-gratia to the riot victims in Gujarat and Bhagalpur, the creation of a national commission for minority education and increasing the minority budget from 500 to 1000 crores (one crore equals 10 million).


Owaisi said that the Prime Minister also assured him to look in to the implementation of the Fatimi sub-committee report on follow up action to the Sachar committee report. “It will bring Rs 5000 crore benefit to the Muslim community, specially in elementary education,” Owaisi said. Owaisi rejected the claim of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that Muslims were against the deal saying,” They are trying to communalize the deal.”

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