In veiled response to Cong-Left Kolkata rally, Owaisi quotes Majrooh Sultanpuri
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said he will speak about his party’s strategy for the West Bengal assembly elections when the time is right. Owaisi said this in response to a question over Indian Secular Front’s (ISF) Abbas Siddiqui sharing the stage with the Left and the Congress party in a rally in Kolkata on Sunday.
In his response, Owaisi used a famous couplet of Urdu poet and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri. “Main akela hi chala tha janib-e-manzil magar, log saath aate gaye aur kaarvan banta gaya (I set off alone towards my goal, but, people came along and it began to turn into a caravan).”
In a first, the Left-Congress-ISF alliance kicked off their campaign for the West Bengal assembly elections on Sunday with a mega rally at Kolkata's famed Brigade Parade Ground. Congress and Siddiqui's newly formed ISF is in an alliance with the Left Front for the assembly elections scheduled to be held from March 27 to April 29 in 8 phases. The rally was attended by Siddiqui, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and West Bengal Left Front chairperson Biman Bose. Seat sharing discussions between the Left-Congress-ISF alliance have not taken place till now.
Last week, Owaisi's Kolkata rally which was scheduled for Thursday was cancelled after the state police refused permission. Party leader Hasan said that the party had applied for permission 10 days ago but it was not given by the police. Owaisi had then accused the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government saying that leaders of the Trinamool Congress party (TMC) indulge in political doublespeak as in Parliament, the TMC leaders talk about freedom of expression and dissent but do not allow him to conduct a public meeting in the state.
“TMC MPs speak about freedom of expression, constitution, dissent in Parliament. But they have two faces; they say one thing in Delhi and do just the opposite in Bengal. If I want to conduct a public meeting there, then why am I not being permitted? The secular, liberal people who clap when they listen to the speeches of TMC MPs will have to think... This clearly shows the doublespeak and hypocrisy of TMC," Owaisi said.