Mumbai: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslmieen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said that the BJP’s claims of reaching out to Pasmanda Muslims were hollow, pointing out that those targeted by alleged gau rakshaks in Haryana’s Bhiwani hailed from this section of the community.

"BJP has lost in 2014 and then 2018 in Telangana. You know how BJP has lost the elections. It won't win in December this year either. You should give little credit to us, at least like a pinch of salt which is added in wheat flour," he said.

“The BJP talks about Pasmanda Muslims. Junaid and Nasir, who were from this section, were allegedly killed by gau rakshaks,” Owaisi said, while addressing a press conference in Navi Mumbai before the party’s two-day national convention began on Saturday.

While criticising the BJP for allegedly fuelling hatred against Muslims, Owaisi also lashed out at the Congress over the Bhiwani killings, attacking its leaders for not meeting the families of the two men who were killed.

The party also opposed the renaming of

two Maharashtra cities — Aurangabad and Osmanabad — which have been changed to Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and Dharashiv, respectively. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday approved the state government’s decision. 

“We will continue to oppose this decision. It has been taken without taking the residents of these cities into confidence. The fate of our cities can’t be decided by people sitting in Mumbai or Delhi,” Imtiaz Jaleel, AIMIM’s Maharashtra president and MP from Aurangabad, said.

He also added that the decision was taken in spite of the matter being sub-judice. The Bombay High Court is presently hearing a petition challenging the renaming. “Will changing the name of Aurangabad resolve the problems faced by citizens? Now that its name has been changed, the government should tell me if the people residing in Aurangabad will get water two times daily. Even today, water is supplied every eight days,” Jaleel said.

The AIMIM’s national convention will be attended by over 1,300 office-bearers from country.

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