Former Uttar Pradesh governor and senior Congress leader, Aziz Qureshi, has openly criticized fellow party members who have aligned themselves with Hindutva ideology. He cautioned that Muslims would not endure excesses against them beyond a certain threshold.
Speaking at a minority community event in Lateri town, situated in Madhya Pradesh’s BJP-ruled Vidisha district on Sunday, Qureshi expressed his concerns.
Qureshi decried the trend among some Congress leaders who have embraced elements of Hindutva, including the chanting of slogans like “Jai Ganga Maiya, Narmada Maiya.” He termed this behavior shameful and fearless of consequences, even daring the party to expel him for speaking out against it.
“It is a matter of shame. I am not afraid of anything, let them expel me from the party,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Congress leaders, who are heirs to (Pandit Jawaharlal) Nehru, are taking out religious processions….They even install idols in our PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) office….Muslims will not tolerate this,” Qureshi said.
Qureshi said that Muslims should not be treated as pawns by any political party, including the Congress. He criticized the lack of employment opportunities for Muslims in various sectors such as the police, army, navy, and air force, and questioned why they should continue supporting parties that do not provide them with meaningful representation.
Qureshi also highlighted the unfortunate instances where mosques, homes, shrines of saints, and shops owned by Muslims were being targeted and attacked, leading to the disrespect of Muslim individuals, particularly women.
“Mosques, houses, mazars (shrines of saints) and shops of Muslims are set on fire, they and their womenfolk are disrespected, but the community is tolerating all this,” he said.
In a firm tone, Qureshi stated, “Muslims are not wearing bangles on their hands. Out of 22 crore, if one or two crore sacrifice their lives for the community, then there is no harm.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh swiftly reacted to Qureshi’s remarks. Pankaj Chaturvedi, spokesperson for the Madhya Pradesh BJP, accused the Congress of practicing appeasement politics.
“Congress is always practicing politics of appeasement. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Kamal Nath should give their opinion on Qureshi’s remarks. If they maintain silence, it will mean they are silently supporting his statements,” Chaturvedi said.