Ahmedabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi Sunday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP’s new campaign slogan “Aa Gujarat Me Banavyu Chhe (I have made this Gujarat)” and the Morbi bridge collapse, which killed 135 people.

Campaigning for the AIMIM’s Jamalpur candidate Sabir Kabliwala at Mirzapur in Ahmedabad ahead of the Legislative Assembly polls, Owaisi said, “He (PM Modi) is saying he has made Gujarat. Is it that Gujarat had nothing before he became the chief minister? Did Gujarat not exist? This Gujarat was made by Saurashtra’s women, Dangs, Adivasis, Vadgam Dalits, Bannis cattle grazers (maldharis) and fishermen. 

Gujarat was there before, is there, and will be there even after Modi….Yes, he did make one thing in Gujarat and that is he made the Morbi bridge which killed 150 (135).

Aapne Gujarat ko nahi banaya, aapne Gujarat ke janta ko bewaqoof banaya (You did not make Gujarat, but you made fools of the Gujarat public). You showed an illusion and Morbi’s bridge (collapse happened). You say you have made Gujarat? Who is responsible for the bridge collapse? We expect the country’s prime minister will also remember the Morbi bridge… You have only made fools of us….”

Commending Taufeeq and Hussain, two youths from Morbi who had assisted in the rescue operations to save lives after the bridge collapse, Owaisi posed questions on the implementation of the Disturbed Areas Act. “I want to ask the PM and the BJP if Husainbhai and Taufeeqbhai can buy any house in Gujarat. You have imposed Disturbed Areas Act, and they can’t… Can the BJP assure Husainbhai and Taufeeqbhai that if their

children are held on false charges of stone pelting, they won’t be brought into the public for flogging? 

Today can the BJP assure that when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is recorded, Taufeeqbhai and Husainbhai will not be asked to prove their citizenship? You say you have made Gujarat but your government released the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. When we raise these issues, we are told that Owaisi gives divisive speeches. I’ve not spoken against any religion. Neither the AAP talks about Bilkis Bano. Who goes and talks to Zakia Jafri?”

Owaisi attacked Kabliwala’s former party Congress too. The Jamalpur constituency is presently held by Imran Khedawala of the Congress. “If anyone can stop the BJP in Jamalpur, it is Sabirbhai…The troubles that the people of Jamalpur, especially in Mirzapur, face, we will try to fix these. Gujarat has 36 slaughterhouses, of which 32 have been closed and only four are working. 

I want to assure you that in the coming Assembly elections if you make Sabirbhai successful, your Sabirbhai will solve the issues that our Qureshbhais (the butcher community) are facing in their slaughterhouses and its business…

Our aim to fight the Assembly elections is so that your voice reaches the Vidhan Sabha, there is an Opposition that fearlessly works for the issues being faced here… Some will say that Sabirbhai was voted from here earlier, then what is the difference between then and now. There is a big difference that Sabirbhai’s voice will not be controlled by the Congress or some other party…Sabirbhai will reopen factories that have been closed,” he said.

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