Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s interest in adopting a Muslim-majority village in Uttar Pradesh associated with the 2008 Batla House encounter was an indication of his political ambitions in the north Indian state, analysts said on Friday.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president expressed his desire to adopt Sanjarpur village in Azamgarh district on Thursday, a move analysts said was aimed at the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Observers questioned Owaisi’s choice of the village and that too in Azamgarh — constituency of Samajwadi Party (SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav — saying it was an attempt to make inroads into Uttar Pradesh by playing the Muslim card. The village came into limelight in 2008 when two of its youths were killed by Delhi police in the Batla House encounter and two others were arrested.
“Owaisi’s next big target is UP elections. Azamgarh suits his interests the best... people there are miffed with both the Congress and the SP,” a Hyderabad-based political commentator said on condition of anonymity.
The MIM website quotes Owaisi as saying that he applied to the government for adopting the village under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s village adoption scheme for MPs, the Sansaad Adarsh Gram Yojna. As per the scheme, no Lok Sabha member can adopt a village outside his constituency, and Owaisi is an MP from Hyderabad in Telangana.
Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni, president of the Rashtriya Ulama Council in Uttar Pradesh, criticised Owaisi for his step.