Patna: All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday slammed a move by the Kishanganj district magistrate (DM) to identify suspected foreign nationals in pursuance a Patna High Court order, saying it was wrong to pinpoint any particular area and looked like an attempt to implement national citizenship register (NRC) through back door.

“I am disappointed. I expected the state government to give clarity on the matter before the court. The government should take it seriously and not get swayed by the RSS agenda,” he told reporters in Patna.

In 2020 Bihar polls, AIMIM had won five assembly seats in Seemanchal region, of which Kishanganj is a part.

Owaisi said his party would take a call on contesting in the two seats going to by-elections in Bihar later this year.

He also took on UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath for the latter’s “abba Jaan” remark and said it was a desperate attempt to resurrect his government’s falling image by polarising votes, but it would not work.

“Had he worked, he would not be required to take recourse of ‘abba Jaan’ at the time of election. The bitter truth in UP is that Muslims have the lowest literacy rate and the highest dropout rate, while merely 10% of the central fund allocated for minority welfare could be spent. UP has the highest number of children with malnutrition. As Yogi does not want debate on them, he is trying to polarise,” he said.

On the number of seats AIMIM would contest in UP and the charge against him that he was trying to polarise votes, Owaisi said the number was not final, but his party would certainly contest with all seriousness and that Muslims were no more ready to be taken for granted as vote bank.

“We are preparing to contest 100 seats in UP. So far there is no tie-up. We can go alone also. We will fight to win. Those who point fingers at us for helping any party should explain what happened in the Lok Sabha election when AIMIM was not in the fray. In Bihar, we fought 19 assembly seats and won five. We are expanding to ensure that the Muslims get their deserved rights, which has not happened,” he said.

On whether tainted faces Mukhtar Ansari and Aateek Ahmad could be fielded by AIMIM, Owaisi said why the same question was not being put to the BJP, Samajwadi Party and others. “How many tainted leaders are in JD-U? It should be an issue for all the political parties. Unless proven guilty, if a person can legally contest election, what is the problem?. We would like to field Ansari, though we have not talked to him,” he said.

The AIMIM chief also dared the Narendra Modi government to declare Taliban a terrorist organisation.

“If the government has courage, it should put Taliban in the list of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. I have been reiterating since 2013 that Taliban’s emergence could be a sign of concern for India, while it might benefit China and Pakistan. But for BJP, all Muslims appear to be Taliban. The Indian government has done strategic blunder by isolating Muslims in the National Register for Citizens (NRC). I always maintained it should not be on religious lines, ” he said, while talking to media persons in Patna.

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