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AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi Demands Quotas for Muslim Women in Parliament

Photo: Asaduddin Owaisi/Meta

Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party, has strongly called for reserving seats for Muslim women in the Parliament. He highlighted the alarmingly low representation of Muslim women in the Parliament since India’s independence.

During an election rally in Kishanganj, Bihar, where the AIMIM’s state unit chief Akhtarul Iman is contesting, Owaisi said, “Since Independence, 17 Lok Sabha polls have been held in the country, but the number of Muslim women who became MPs has been just about 20. So why not reservations for Muslim women?”

Referring to the late leader Humera Aziz, Owaisi said, “As early as 2004, we had fielded a female candidate in Secunderabad. Peace be upon her.”

Owaisi, who likes to be addressed as “barrister,” recalled facing derision in the Lok Sabha when he moved an amendment to the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam (Women’s Empowerment Act) brought by the Narendra Modi government. “Speaker Om Birla said to me you want to bring in an amendment, but there is hardly anybody to back you. I replied Allah is with me,” Owaisi recounted.

Justifying his demand, Owaisi said, “My argument is that Muslims and the backward classes together comprise about 65 percent of the total population. We cannot deprive women of this vast social segment of their rights.”

The AIMIM plans to contest over a dozen Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, which has a total of 40 seats.

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