Asaduddin Owaisi: Outspoken Champion of the Downtrodden
Tall, dashing and outspoken, Assaduddin Owaisi may very well be described as the most vocal champion of Muslim rights in India. His outstanding ability to outsmart his opponents has made him one of the most loved as well as most loathed politicians of the country. He is loved by the people who view him as the sole voice speaking for their rights. He is loathed of course by those who do not want to see a particularly community realise their deserving status in the country. He may very well be criticised by even secular analysts for arousing sentiments and for overstating his concerns but if one carefully studies his “controversial” statements, most of them, even if somewhat harsh, will not be found hateful towards any community. He attacks but, In sharp contrast to a large number of the votaries of Hindu nationalism, he attacks only the hate mongers and not any community. A barrister of law, he understands the demands and the boundaries of the constitution; he works for making sure that the demands of the constitution, especially those related to minorities are fully met; and he works within the boundaries of the constitution. Owaisi’s record in Parliament – he has already won three consecutive Parliamentary elections- is admired even by his worst critics. It is hardly surprising therefore that he was given the 2014 Sansad Ratna Award for his distinguished performance in the 15th Lok Sabha.
President of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), Owaisi is no ordinary politician wanting to ensure his seat in Parliament. For him politics is a means of empowering the weak and deprived. Being a member of a community, which is reeling under extreme backwardness in the country, he considers it his primary responsibility to speak for the rights of Muslims; but he has not failed to raise issues that concern the whole nation. He is a hard-core Indian but is quick to lambaste Congress for trying to monopolise secularism and BJP for trying to monopolise nationalism. Secularism and nationalism to Owaisi mean much more than what Congress and BJP stand for. If all the communities of the country do not feel secure and if every Indian is not in a position to play a meaningful role in the country, this augurs well neither for Secularism nor for Nationalism.
An outspoken parliamentarian, Asaduddin Owaisi has been instrumental in persuading the Indian Government to establish an exclusive Ministry of Minority Affairs to look after the welfare of religious minorities, including Muslims, in India. The Indian Government was persuaded to raise the budgetary allocations from a mere Rupees 17 crores in 2003-04 to as high as Rupees 3,711 crores in 2014-15 for minority welfare.
Asaduddin Owaisi worked for securing four percent reservations for Socially and Educationally Backward Muslims in Andhra Pradesh in 2004. These reservations in public employment and educational institutions have benefited thousands of Muslim boys and girls in the last one decade. On persistent demand of AIMIM, the State budget for minority welfare has been raised from Rupees 45 crores in 2003-04 to Rupees 1,033 crores in 2014-15.
Owaisi is certainly not mere politician. He is a philanthropist and a social stalwart who works in many fields including education, health and social empowerment. Asaduddin Owaisi is the Chairman of Dar-us-Salam Educational Trust (DET),founded by late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, under the aegis of AIMIM. Apart from DET, the AIMIM has set up a cooperative bank for the minorities. Asaduddin Owaisi oversees the functioning of Darussalam Cooperative Urban Bank (DCUB), founded in September 1987 by late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, to improve the economic condition of underprivileged sections in general and Muslim community in particular.
Owaisi’s future as a politician will depend on how he is able to combine his image as the champion of Muslim cause with his appeal for the other sections of society. Having already won the hearts of his community, if he makes subtle changes in his style of functioning, he may certainly emerge as a national leader of great stature in the coming years.
BARRISTER ASADUDDIN OWAISI is an eminent parliamentarian of India and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
Born on 13th May 1969, Asaduddin Owaisi is a lawyer and Bar-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London. He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Charminar Constituency in Hyderabad in 1994 and re-elected in 1999.
He was elected to the Indian Parliament (House of the People--Lok Sabha) in 2004 and re-elected in 2009 and 2014. He was elected as president of AIMIM after the demise of his father and eminent Muslim leader Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, a six-term MP and five-term legislator, in 2008.
Under Asaduddin Owaisi’s stewardship, the party won 7 Legislative Assembly seats each in 2009 and 2014 and two Legislative Council seats in 2011 in Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana State). The AIMIM also had its Mayor in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for three years (2012-2014). The AIMIM won two Legislative Assembly seats in Maharashtra in 2014.
Asaduddin Owaisi is the Chairman of Dar-us-Salam Educational Trust (DET),founded by late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, under the aegis of AIMIM. The DET runs a string of (minority) professional colleges in engineering, architecture, management, computer applications, medicine, pharmacy etc, for Muslim boys and girls. About 525 engineering graduates and 150 medical graduates pass out of the Deccan group of institutions every year. Thousands of out-patients, besides 2,500 in-patients, are treated at the Owaisi Hospital and Princess Esra Hospital run by DET. The DET also offers cash awards and books/schoolbags to thousands of Urdu medium students by spending Rupees 50 lakhs annually.
Apart from DET, the AIMIM has set up a cooperative bank for the minorities. Asaduddin Owaisi oversees the functioning of Darussalam Cooperative Urban Bank (DCUB), founded in September 1987 by late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, to improve the economic condition of underprivileged sections in general and Muslim community in particular. The total deposits of DCUB have reached Rs 350 crores. The total loans and advances crossed Rs 250 crores. The total number of customers is 1.3 lakhs.
An outspoken parliamentarian, Asaduddin Owaisi has been instrumental in persuading the Indian Government to establish an exclusive Ministry of Minority Affairs to look after the welfare of religious minorities, including Muslims, in India. The Indian Government was persuaded to raise the budgetary allocations from a mere Rupees 17 crores in 2003-04 to as high as Rupees 3,711 crores in 2014-15 for minority welfare. Asaduddin Owaisi was given the 2014 Sansad Ratna Award for his distinguished performance in the 15th Lok Sabha.
Asaduddin Owaisi worked for securing four percent reservations for Socially and Educationally Backward Muslims in Andhra Pradesh in 2004. These reservations in public employment and educational institutions have benefited thousands ofMuslim boys and girls in the last one decade. On persistent demand of AIMIM, the State budget for minority welfare has been raised from Rupees 45 crores in 2003-04 to Rupees 1,033 crores in 2014-15.
AIMIM, under Asaduddin Owaisi’s leadership, organized relief for the 400,000 Muslims affected by communal riots in Assam and also for the people affected by landslides in Uttarakhand by spending Rupees 50 lakhs and Rupees 75 lakhs respectively.
Asaduddin Owaisi is a gifted speaker and a powerful orator whose speeches excite his admirers as well as detractors. It is because of his remarkable presentations and timely interventions in Lok Sabha that he is considered a performer par excellence in Parliament. According to a book, ‘Representatives at Work’, released recently by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Shiv Sena’s Anandrao Adsul tops the list of MPs who asked maximum questions between 2009 and 2014 (period of 15th Lok Sabha). Adsul asked 1,280 questions, followed by his party colleague Gajanan Babar with 1,185 questions. Asaduddin Owaisi stands at third place with 1,141 questions, followed by Pradeep Manjhi of Congress with 1,112 questions.
Asaduddin Owaisi among top three best performers in 15th Lok Sabha..
A newspaper report says,
“Asaduddin Owaisi, the Hyderabad MP and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) chief, who has been often accused of playing communal card for political mileage, has been rated among top three best performers in the last Lok Sabha.
“Interestingly, Asauddin Owaisi, known for fiery speeches, was among top performers in the monsoon session of the parliament in 2013 with 1042 questions. He also participated in 38 debates. Asaduddin Owaisi was also selected for the ‘Sansad Ratna award 2014′ for his impressive performances in the Lok Sabha.
Titled ‘Representatives at Work’, the book brought out by research organisation, Centre for Democracy and Peace, examines the role of MPs from different angles.”
Speech on Ghar Wapasi: all newborn are “Muslims”
Recently, in response to repeated statements by Hindutva Brigade in support of Ghar Waapasi of Muslims to Hindu fold, Owaisi shot back saying that "Everyone is born a Muslim, and then he is converted to other religions. Ghar wapasi is for these people to return to Islam."
As always his statement was blopwn out of proportion and he was accused of spreading communal hatred. What he in fact meant that “muslim” literally means one who surrenders to the Will of God. The whole Physical world is “Muslim” in the sense because it follows the Physical Laws created by God. Every newborn also follows the natural physical and biological laws and can therefore be called “Muslim”, the one who surrenders to God. Later he starts adopting social and religious laws, which do not belong to God and hence becomes a non-Muslim. The statement in fact referred to the unique unity of all the creatures.
Describing the controversy on his speeh, a newspaper report says,
“Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, which is also the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, said recently that India is a "Hindu nation", seen by opponents as a grim undermining of the country's constitutional commitment to secularism.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been attacked by critics for failing to rein in affiliates of his party who are accused of blatantly promoting a Hindu-dominant agenda.”
Owais was quoted by the reprt as saying:
"I am not retaliating (to those sort of remarks). This is what the Quran says. You are free to not accept my interpretation," Mr Owaisi told NDTV. The 45-year-old represents the constituency of Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha. His MIM made inroads in neighbouring Maharashtra in October's elections, gaining two seats in the state legislature.”
He clarified that he did not intend to hurt anybody,
"I am not offering money, nor telling people that they are not citizens of this country, if they don't belong to a particular religion. Nor that the country will be converted into a one-religion nation. After all, plurality is India's strength," he professed in support of his claim that his take differs from that of people like Mr Bhagwat.
“Islam is the real home of all religions. There is no forced conversion in Islam. It is you who need to come home, but we can’t give you money for that,” the Hyderabad MP said on Saturday night on the eve of Eid Milad Un-Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammed.”
On communal designs of Hindutva Organisations
In another speech in Parliament, he lambasted the communal forces in the country. According to Muslim Mirror Report,
“ Asaduddin Owaisi , the MIM supremo and Hydrabad MP raised many bitter issues in Lok Sabha today which created uproar in the House on Wednesday and evoked sharp reaction from BJP members who were heard shouting “shame on you” to Owaisi.
Raking up the issues from the demolition of Babri Masjid to Godhra riots from Ishrat Jahan fake encounter to Pune techie murder case , the Hyderabad MP infuriated BJP MPs i during debate on President’s address.
Protesting BJP members tried to shout down Owaisi when he sought to know who were responsible for crimes against minorities and also assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
Criticizing Ram Vilas Paswan who while participating in the debate said people should stop from harping about Godhra riots, Owaisi said, “Jisme insaniyat hai woh in waqeat ko yaad rakhe ga… Jisme insaniyat hai woh in katilon ko kabhi maaf nahi karega.” (Those who have humanity will remember such incidents, those who have humanity will never pardon the killers )
He also cautioned that the way things appear today the day was not far when Nathuram Godse, the man who had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi would be awarded ‘Veer Chakra’.
In his seven minute speech Owaisi also put some lights on the historical events which shaped this country “There are four incidents which shook the foundation of this country. Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, murder and Genocide of Sikhs and Dalits, destruction of Babri Masjid and 2002 Gujarat riots. If that is the case, then the day is not far when this a house will give, Bharat Ratna, or Veer Chakra to Nathuram Godse”, he said.
‘Congratulate you (BJP) for destroying myth of Muslim vote bank,but you must admit that you consolidated Hindu vote bank’ taunted Owaisi on BJP.
Unperturbed by vociferously protest, Owaisi noted there are very few Muslim representatives from BJP in the Lok Sabha.
“Where is the pluralism and diversity?” he asked and demanded that the Prime Minister make it clear what he proposed to do for the minorities.
Stating that Article 29 & 30 of the constitution has clearly defined linguistic and religious minorities and have given them rights, Owaisi asked Modi to explain to the house his stand over Sikhs and Buddhists who have also been defined as minorities.
Coming down heavily on Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah’ remark about Minorities Mr Owaisi asked Prime Minister Modi to explain to the house the stand of his government vis-à-vis minorities.
“You talk about making the minorities equal partner in this country. How? Your own minister on the very first day of the government formation says Muslims are not minorities. Am I supposed to believe that the minority ministry has been created for 80,000 Parsis only? That cannot be the case”, he said.
As uproar continued in the House, Owaisi mentioned emotionally about Ehsan jafri. Ishrat Jahan and Mohsin Sadiq saying ‘I stand before you as the son of Ehsan Jafri. I stand before you as the brother of Ishrat Jahan. I stand before you as the uncle of Sadiq. I stand before you as the voice of those poor voiceless people affected by Gujarat genocide and i want justice to be done with them ‘.”
Asaduddin Owaisi’s other recent interventions include opposition of (Land Acquisition) Bill & Amendment in Lok Sabha (Parliament) on 10-03-2015, questioning Mr. Prime Minister on Sab Ka Sath..Sab Ka Vikas, Muslims not being scared of RSS and Bajrang Dal members, Dec 11, 2014, speech on Javkheda killings Nov 27, 2014, speech on PM’s Foreign Tour on 30 July 2009, speech on Increasing Communal Violence in India on 13th August 2014 and disapproval of National Judiciary Appointment Bill at Lok Sabha on 12th August 2014
Asaduddin Owaisi is the current President of ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN (AIMIM). AIMIM has its roots in the efforts of the Muslims of Deccan, in the late 1920s, who had come together to unite the community on a common platform. Their objective was to promote the socio-economic and educational development of Muslims. The organization, initially known as Ittehad Bainal Muslimeen, was founded at a meeting of prominent Muslims, including Ulema-e-Mashaeqeen, hosted by Nawab Mahmood Khan Qiledar on 12th November 1927 at Hyderabad.
In 1938, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung was elected as president of MIM, which had the objective of working for protection of the socio-cultural and religious ethos of Muslim community. He emerged as the tallest leader of the community and was conferred the title of Qaid-e-Millat. His dedication, sincerity and oratorial and leadership skills made the MIM reach new heights within a short time. He served the MIM till his untimely demise in 1944.
After the turbulent days of Military Acton, euphemistically known as Police Action, that hastened the accession of erstwhile Hyderabad State (Nizam’s Dominions) to the Indian Union on 17th September 1948, the MIM ceased to exist. There was widespread sense of fear and despair among Muslims who had witnessed the massacres and lootings in the wake of Police Action. Pandit Sundarlal Committee, appointed by then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, documented the atrocities (killings, rapes, arson and looting) unleashed on the Muslims of erstwhile Nizam State during and after the Police Action.
In the decade that followed, the Hyderabad State (which was one of the largest States of the Indian Union) was trifurcated on linguistic basis, on 1st November 1956, with Telugu-speaking areas (Telangana) merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh, Marathi-speaking areas (Marathwada) tagged on to then Bombay State and Kannada-speaking areas (Hyderabad-Karnatak) added to then Mysore State.
REVIVAL OF MIM
After almost a decade of inactivity, the MIM was revived on 2nd March 1958 by Maulvi Abdul Wahed Owaisi, an eminent lawyer and graduate of the famous Jamia Nizamia, Hyderabad. Undeterred by the prevailing atmosphere of fear and misery among Muslims, he took up the onerous task of organizing the community. His message of hope soon caught the imagination of the masses who found a charismatic leader in their midst who was not afraid of taking on the might of the powers of the day. He was adoringly conferred the title of “Fakhr-e-Millat” by the community.
Maulvi Abdul Wahed Owaisi renamed MIM as “ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN” (AIMIM) and converted it into a political party to protect the rights of the minorities enshrined in the Indian Constitution. His main contribution was integrating a disheartened Muslim community into India’s democratic and secular framework and political and electoral processes.
AIMIM’S VISION AND MISSION
AIMIM is a political party dedicated to protect and promote the rights of Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, Other Backward Classes, Other Minorities and all other underprivileged communities in India. It bears true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India. The party strongly believes in the nation’s secular democracy and strives to protect and enhance its quality by effective representation from local municipal councils to the Parliament.
AIMIM PARTY PRESIDENTS & FLOOR LEADERS
Fakhr-e-Millat Maulvi Abdul Wahed Owaisi steered the party for 18 years (1958-1975) till his demise. Soon after, Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi assumed the mantle of AIMIM president and held the post for an uninterrupted 34 years (from 1975-2008).After Salar-e-Millat passed away in September 2008, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi took over the reins of AIMIM as its President. He has been conferred the title of Naqeeb-e-Millat by the community.
Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi served as AIMIM floor Leader in the Assembly for a record 23 years (1962-1984). Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi was AIMIM floor leader in Assembly for 10 years, from 1994 to 2004. Habeeb-e-Millat Akbar Uddin Owaisi is the Floor Leader of AIMIM in the Assembly for the last 11 years since 2004.
PARTICIPATION IN ELECTORAL POLITICS
AIMIM made its electoral debut in 1959 when it contested and won two municipal by-elections in the City of Hyderabad. AIMIM contested the polls to Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad in 1960 and won 24 divisions to emerge as the main opposition party. Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was elected from Mallepally division in the City. In 1964, the party won 18 divisions and retained its position as the main opposition party in the MCH.
AIMIM entered the Assembly poll fray in 1962 and scored its maiden victory when Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was elected from Pathergatti constituency in Hyderabad, by trouncing his main rival Mrs Masooma Begun, whowas a Cabinet minister in the then Congress Ministry headed by Damodaram Sanjivayya. AIMIM bagged three Assembly seats in 1967 and continued its winning spree ever since.
AIMIM’s electoral performance has been truly spectacular in the last 55 years.
AIMIM made its debut in Parliament when Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hyderabad Constituency in 1984. The Party has retained Hyderabad seat ever since by scoring huge majorities.
The Election Commission of India registered AIMIM as an unrecognized registered political party under Para 17 of the Election Symbols (Registration and Allotment) Order, 1968, through Notification No. 56/89 dated 23-10-1989.
The ECI, through its notification No. 56/R/48/89/1147 dated 1st June 1992, registered AIMIM as a political party under Section 29 A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, with effect from 1st May 1992.
The State Election Commission, Andhra Pradesh, registered AIMIM as a political party under the Registration of Political Parties and Allotment of Symbols Order 2001 on 24.08.2001 vide Lr No. 823/SEC-I/2001. The SEC also allotted the “Kite” symbol to candidates set up by AIMIM in local body elections in Andhra Pradesh.
AIMIM IN STATE LEGISLATURE
AIMIM increased its tally to three seats in the 1967 Assembly polls. Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, contesting from Charminar constituency, defeated Congress candidate Mir Ahmed Ali Khan, sitting MLA from Malakpet and Home Minister in Kasu Brahmamanda Reddy’s cabinet who had shifted from his home constituency to unsuccessfully take on Salar-e-Millat.
Again, AIMIM won three seats each in 1972 and 1978 elections, five seats in 1983, four seats each in 1985 and 1989, one seat in 1994, four seats in 1999, five seats in 2004 and seven seats each in 2009 and 2014 elections. Thus, AIMIM has uninterrupted presence in the State Legislative Assembly for over 52 years with its members elected in 12 General Elections since 1962. The polls during 1962-2014 were held in united AP and Telangana State came into being on 2nd June 2014. AIMIM MLAs elected in 2014 are members of Telangana Legislative Assembly now.
AIMIM made its foray into the State Legislative Council with the election of its first MLC from Assembly in 2007. The Party got another MLC elected from Hyderabad Local Authorities Constituency in 2010. Both Members were re-elected in 2011 for a six-year term.
AIMIM IN LOK SABHA
AIMIM has won Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat uninterruptedly for nine times in the last 30 years (1984-2014) with Salar-e-Millat winning the seat six times (in 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999 polls) and Naqeeb-e-Millat Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi bagging the seat three times (in 2004, 2009 and 2014). While Salar-e-Millat had trounced his BJP/Telugu Desam rivals, including M Venkaiah Naidu, with huge majorities, Naqeeb- a-Millat also scored spectacular victories over his BJP/TDP rivals.
AIMIM MAYORS FOR HYDERABAD
AIMIM captured power in the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad in 1986 municipal polls when it emerged as the single largest party in the 100-member civic body with 38 corporators. AIMIM ruled the MCH for five years, with its nominees holding the posts of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Standing Committee chairperson.
The first AIMIM Mayor of Hyderabad was a Dalit, K Prakash Rao. In all, AIMIM got three Dalit Mayors elected in the MCH (K Prakash Rao, A Satyanarayana and Alampalli Pochaiah) during 1986-1991. AIMIM also had a Dalit and a Girijan (ST) member—M B Shivraj and Hanumanthu-- electedas Deputy Mayor of Hyderabad during 1986-1991. Two AIMIM Mayors and three Deputy Mayors hailed from Muslim community during the same period. Each mayor and deputy mayor had one year term each in those times.
AIMIM emerged as single largest party again when MCH polls were held in 2002, winning 36 out of 100 corporator divisions. AIMIM controlled the Standing Committee of the MCH, though the TDP-BJP alliance shared the Mayor and Deputy Mayor posts.
After the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was formed in 2007 with the merger of 12 adjoining municipalities with the MCH, civic elections were held in 2009. AIMIM emerged as single largest party in the erstwhile MCH area, winning 41 out of 100 divisions and its overall tally was 43 in the 150-member body. For first two years (2009-11), AIMIM’s nominee Jaffer Hussain Meraj held the post of Deputy Mayor. In January 2012, AIMIM corporator Mohammad Majid Hussain was elected as Mayor of GHMC. His term came to an end in December 2014.
AIMIM CORPORATORS & COUNCILLORS OUTSIDE HYDERABAD
AIMIM has been contesting the municipal elections in other towns and cities outside Hyderabad in erstwhile (United) Andhra Pradesh State since 1981. AIMIM bagged seats in civic bodies outside Hyderabad in 1981, 1987, 1995, 2000, and 2005 elections. AIMIM had 86 councillors and corporators in municipalities and municipal corporations outside Hyderabad in 1987. AIMIM nominees held the posts of chairmen and vice-chairmen in several municipalities ever since. AIMIMnominee held the post of Deputy Mayor in Karimnagar Municipal Corporation during 2005-2010.
As many as 101 AIMIM candidates were elected as councilors/corporators in 21 municipalities and municipal corporations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the civic elections held in 2014. AIMIM nominees were elected as Chairperson in one municipality (Bhainsa in Adilabad district) and vice-chairmen in seven othermunicipalities, besides securing Deputy Mayor’s post in Nizamabad Municipal Corporation, in Telangana State.
AIMIM IN PANCHAYATS
AIMIM contested the panchayat raj elections in some places in Telangana State in 2014. AIMIM won 21 posts of mandal parishad territorial constituency (MPTC) members in four districts, including 14 in Rangareddy district. AIMIM candidate was elected as vice-president of Saroornagar mandal praja parishad in Rangareddy district in the 2014 polls.
AIMIM IN MAHARASHTRA & KARNATAKA
AIMIM made its entry in Maharashtra civic polls in October 2012 and scored an impressive victory in Nanded city municipal council by winning 11 divisions. AIMIM also made its electoral debut in Karnataka by winning six divisions in civic elections held in March 2013. AIMIM won three seats each in Bidar and Basvakalyan municipal councils.
AIMIM contested the Assembly elections in Maharashtra for the first time in 1999 when it contested one seat. A decade later, in 2009, AIMIM contested two seats (Nanded North and Latur City) unsuccessfully.
AIMIM entered the Assembly poll arena in Maharashtra for the third time but on a larger scale in 2014. Two AIMIM nominees emerged victorious-- from Byculla constituency in Mumbai city and Aurangabad Central constituency in Marathwada region. Three AIMIM candidates were runners-up—in Aurangabad East, Parbhani and Solapur City Central. AIMIM’s 24 candidates in the poll fray polled a total of 4,89,614 votes. AIMIM also supported a Dalit candidate of Panthers Republican Party who polled 35,348 votes. The overall vote tally of 25 candidates aggregated to 524,962.
AIMIM & EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
AIMIM has been striving for the empowerment of women by fielding them in the elections. Women candidates contested and won on AIMIM banner for the first time in 1986 elections to Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad. Similarly, AIMIM fielded women candidates in municipal polls in other parts of the State from 1987 onwards and they emerged successful in many municipalities. The number of women candidates of AIMIM elected to MCH went up from six in 1986 polls to as many as 15 in 2002 elections. Thirteen women candidates of AIMIM were elected to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in the 2009 polls.
Outside Hyderabad, as many as 38 women candidates of AIMIM were elected as councilors and corporators in the municipalities and municipal corporations in Telangana State in the elections held in 2014. A lady candidate of AIMIM was elected as Chairperson of Bhainsa Municipality in Telangana in June 2014. Nine AIMIM women candidates were elected as mandal parishad territorial constituency members in the panchayat polls held in 2014.
AIMIM & NON-MUSLIMS
Apart from getting Dalits and Girijans elected as Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Hyderabad during 1986-1991, AIMIM has been fielding a number of non-Muslims--Dalits, Girijans (Tribals) and OBCs-- in the successive civic, Assembly and parliamentary elections. Dalits, Girijans and OBCs have been elected to civic bodies in the State on AIMIM banner since 1959.
In the 2014 General Elections, AIMIM had fielded four non-Muslims for Lok Sabha and eight non-Muslims for Assembly seats in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States. AIMIM gave tickets to four non-Muslim candidates in Maharashtra Assembly polls held in 2014. AIMIM also supported the candidature of a Dalit candidate of Panthers Republican Party in Aurangabad West assembly seat in 2014 polls.
Five non-Muslims (Dalits & Girijans) fielded by AIMIM were elected to the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad in 1986. Again, in 2002 MCH polls, four non-Muslim candidates of AIMIM, including two women, were elected as corporators. In 2009, four non-Muslim candidates of AIMIM, including three women, were elected to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. In other municipalities and municipal corporations in Telangana, six non-Muslims were elected on AIMIM banner in the 2014 civic polls. Three non-Muslims nominees of AIMIM were elected as Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency members in the panchayat polls held in 2014.
AIMIM GETS STATE PARTY STATUS IN TELANGANA
AIMIM contested five Lok Sabha seats and 35 Assembly seats in the General Elections to Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly held in 2014. AIMIM polled a total of 6,85,690 votes in the Lok Sabha constituencies and 7,37,034 votes in the Assembly constituencies that it contested. The Party had the status of a registered unrecognized party before the 2014 elections.
Following its success in the General elections wherein it won one Lok Sabha seat and seven Assembly seats in Telangana, the Election Commission of India accorded recognition to AIMIM as a State Party in the State of Telangana with Kite as its reserved symbol under the provisions of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, in June 2014.
AIMIM was registered as a political party with the State Election Commission (Andhra Pradesh) in 2001. AIMIM was accorded the status of a registered political party with a reserved symbol in the ordinary elections to municipal bodies and mandal parishad territorial constituencies and zilla parishad territorial constituencies held in March 2014 as per the provisions of the Registration of Political Parties and Allotment of Symbols Order 2001 and Kite symbol was reserved for it.
As AIMIM fulfilled the requirements as per the provisions of the Symbol Order 2001 and also as per the provisions of the AP Panchayat Raj Act, GHMC Act and AP Municipalities Act, the State Election Commission notified AIMIM as a recognized political party with the status of State Party in the State of Telangana in June 2014. The State Election Commission also notified AIMIM as a recognized political party with the status of “State party of other States” in the State of Andhra Pradesh with Kite as a reserved symbol in June 2014.
AIMIM GETS REGISTERED PARTY STATUS IN MAHARASHTRA
AIMIM is also a registered political party in Maharashtra, registered with the State Election Commission, as per notification No. SEC/RPP/2012/CR-1/D-11 dated 3rdApril 2012. AIMIM has contested the local bodies’ elections in Maharashtra as a registered party. AIMIM has also registered with the State Election Commission, Karnataka.
ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN (AIMIM), which was revived in 1958, has been striving, all these years, to bring Muslim community on to a common platform, with the avowed objective of promoting their socio-economic and educational development and securing social, cultural, linguistic, religious, economic and political rights not only for Muslims but also for other underprivileged sections such as Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs and other religious minorities.
Serving the people for almost six decades now, AIMIM has a long record of achievements to its credit. The Party has been waging struggles, conducting campaigns, organizing public meetings and lobbying with the governments to secure for the minorities their rights and to get benefits for them on par with other communities, namely, Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs. AIMIM has been exerting pressure on the successive governments in Andhra Pradesh and at the Centre to mete out justice and equity to the minorities in the State and the country.
Right from Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, the first Chief Minister of (united) Andhra Pradesh to the last one, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, AIMIM, as a political party representing the hopes and aspirations of Muslim community and other under-privileged communities, lobbied with all the 16 successive CMs to deliver on their promises to the minorities, particularly Muslims. Many a time, the successive governments listened to AIMIM leadership and conceded most of their demands. At the Centre, successive Prime Ministers from Indira Gandhi to Dr Manmohan Singh respected AIMIM leadership and responded positively to their demands.
CMs & PMs RESPOND TO AIMIM DEMANDS
AIMIM succeeded in compelling the successive governments to fulfil their constitutional obligations towards the minorities and to initiate measures for the protection of their linguistic, cultural and religious rights and for their educational, economic and social upliftment. AIMIM has also been working for the empowerment of minorities by participating in elections from the local municipal bodies to the Parliament.
Apart from organizing public meetings on current affairs throughout the year, AIMIM has been creating awareness among Muslim masses on issues concerning them and for voicing their demands for socio-economic development and welfare. AIMIM has also been using various elected fora—right from municipal councils to the State Legislature (Assembly & Council) and the Parliament (Lok Sabha) to voice the grievances and demands of Muslim community and other under-privileged sections of the society.
SALAR-E-MILLAT VOICED MINORITY CONCERNS
Countless speeches made by Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi in the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha, spanning an uninterrupted presence of 44 years in the elected bodiesreflected the perceptions and feelings of Muslim community in particular and the people of the State in general on various issues confronting them.
Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbar Uddin Owaisi have continued this illustrious tradition and emerged as the voice of Muslim community and other under-privileged sections through their speeches. They have been highlighting the problems confronting the State and different sections of the people, irrespective of caste, language and community.
After making his mark as a brilliant legislator and AIMIM Floor Leader for 10 years, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi has shown his mettle as a seasoned parliamentarian in the last one decade. Akbar Uddin Owaisi, as AIMIM floor leader in the State Assembly from 2004 onwards, has proved to be a powerful legislator since 1999. He has been addressing public meetings from his teenage and is known as a fiery orator.
Thanks to the leadership provided by AIMIM to Muslim community and other under-privileged sections, Andhra Pradesh became a pioneer in setting up institutions and launching schemes for the minorities, particularly Muslims. Except for the Wakf Board, which was established in January 1955, all other minority bodies came into being, owing to strong lobbying by AIMIM.
URDU AS SECOND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
In 1966, AP Official Language Act was enacted, inter alia, providing for use of Urdu, in addition to Telugu, as the official language of Andhra Pradesh. This was one of the demands of AIMIM which reasoned that Urdu, which was the official language of erstwhile Hyderabad State under the Nizams till September 1948, should be accorded its rightful place as second official language since Telugu has been chosen as the first official language of Andhra Pradesh. The responsibility of overseeing the implementation of Urdu as the second official language wasentrusted to AP Official Language Commission, which has one Urdu-speaking member to monitor this aspect.
When AIMIM demanded that effective steps be taken for the promotion and preservation of Urdu language, the State Government established the Urdu Academy of AP in 1975, with three regional centres at Vijayawada, Kurnool and Nizamabad, to preserve and promote Urdu language and literature in the State.
Thus, AP became the first State in the country to constitute the Urdu Academy, which is mandated to take up schemes for promotion and preservation of Urdu language through financial assistance to Urdu libraries, assistance for translation of books of other languages into Urdu, publication of Urdu journal, and awarding of best students and best teachers awards.
For providing vocational training in Urdu computer education, the Urdu Academy opened 85 Urdu computer training centres across Andhra Pradesh for imparting coaching to unemployed Muslim youth. Thousands of Muslim youth and girls have been trained at these centres so far. The State Government also started a scheme for construction of Urdu-Ghar-cum-Shadikhanas (Urdu centres and marriage halls) at various district headquarters and mandal towns.
URDU NOTIFIED IN 15 DISTRICTS
After AIMIM launched ‘Save Urdu Movement’ (Urdu Bachao Tahreek) in mid-1980s, the State Government issued notifications for implementation of Urdu as second official language in various districts. Urdu was notified as second official language in as many as 15 districts out of 23 in undivided AP. Also, due to AIMIM’s efforts, the Government initiated measures to strengthen Urdu medium schools at primary, upper primary and secondary levels by recruiting teachers and constructing school buildings. Urdu junior and degree colleges were opened in Hyderabad and other places. Quli Qutub Shah Polytechnic was set up exclusively for youth of Old City of Hyderabad.
SCHOLARSHIP AND FEES REIMBURSEMENT SCHEMES
Incidentally, Scholarship scheme for minority students was started for the first time in Andhra Pradesh in 1994. Subsequently, in 2006-07, the State Government revamped pre- and post-matric scholarship schemes and introduced fees reimbursement scheme for post-matric courses for minority students on par with Backward Class students. The rates of scholarships for minority students were also enhanced on par with the BCs. Urdu Medium students were also covered under the pre- and post-matric and fees reimbursement schemes on par with minority students studying through English and Telugu media of instruction.
Emulating the scholarship schemes for minority students in Andhra Pradesh, the Central Government also introduced pre- and post-matric scholarship and merit-cum-means scholarship schemes for minorities during 2007-08, with specific targets set for the States based on the proportion of minorities to total population. The Central scholarship rates are higher than those of the State scholarships both at pre-matric and post-matric levels.
The Scholarship schemes of both the State Government and the Central Government have become immensely popular and cover 50 percent of the 16 lakh Muslim students enrolled in 15,000 schools and 8,000 colleges across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. All those minority students whose family income is less than Rs one lakh per annum are eligible for the pre-matric and post-matric scholarship and fees reimbursement schemes of the State Government. However, the eligibility is Rs two lakhs family income ceiling for post-matric scholarships and Rs one lakh for pre-matric scholarships of the Central Government.
HOSTELS AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
When AIMIM demanded that minorities should enjoy all facilities on par with other communities, the State Government opened 10 pre-matric hostels and 18 post-matric hostels for minority boys and girls and 12 English-medium residential schools for minorities in minority-dominated districts across the State. The hostellers and students are provided free education and boarding and lodging by the Government.
RECRUITMENT OF URDU TEACHERS
On the demand of AIMIM, the State Government took up recruitment of Urdu language and subject teachers through the District Selection Committees (DSCs), which were constituted every year for conducting recruitment tests and selecting the teachers for all government schools. Hundreds of Urdu language pundits and subject teachers have been selected through the DSCs so far.
RESERVATIONS FOR BACKWARD MUSLIM GROUPS
On the eve of 2004 elections, AIMIM demanded that the main parties in the State should announce their commitment for reservations for Muslims in professional courses and public employment. The Congress responded by promising 5 percent quota for Muslims in its election manifesto. Telugu Desam Party followed suit by promising 3 percent quota for Muslims. After the Congress regained power in 2004, the then Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy implemented five percent reservations for Muslims by including them in Backward Class list under a separate category-- BC “E” Group.
However, the Sangh Parivar activists filed public interest litigations challenging the quota for Muslims. The State High Court struck down the quota. Subsequently, the State Government reconstituted the Backward Classes Commission which recommended four percent quota for Muslims. The Government promulgated an Ordinance in 2005 to implement the four percent quota. This was also challenged in the State High Court which quashed the quota once again.
After the BC Commission made its recommendations afresh, the State Government implemented four percent quota for 15 identified groups (castes) of socially and educationally backward Muslims and excluded some categories from the quota in 2007. But the High Court quashed the quota for the third time in 2010. On the insistence of AIMIM, the State filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which passed interim orders allowing the four percent quota for SEBC Muslims.
Thousands of Muslim boys and girls have benefited from the reservations in professional courses in the last 10 years. Similarly, hundreds of Muslim youth and women got jobs under the four percent BC” E” quota for SEBC Muslims in the last decade. Though the High Court struck down the quota three times, the State Government has shown its determination by implementing the quota for SEBC Muslims again and again despite persistent legal hurdles.
STATE MINORITIES FINANCE CORPORATION
On the demand of AIMIM, the State Government set up AP State Minorities Finance Corporation in 1985 to assist the weaker sections of minorities for their economic development. AP became the first State to set up an exclusive corporation for the minorities on the lines of cooperative finance corporations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Women. The Corporation implemented schemes for economic assistance, micro-credit and construction of worksheds.
For several years, APSMFC was also entrusted the implementation of other programmes, such as scholarships and fees reimbursement scheme for minority students, development of minority women and children in urban areas, training and employment programmes and maintenance of residential schools and pre- and post-matric hostels for minority students.
APSMFC has been designated as the nodal agency for implementation of scheme of subsidy grant for bank-linked income generating schemes for minorities to set up viable self-employment ventures where the maximum unit cost allowed is upto Rs 2.5 lakh. Thousands of minority youth and women have been assisted by the APSMFC through various schemes in the last 29 years.
PRIORITY SECTOR LENDING FOR MINORITIES
To ensure financial inclusion of minorities, especially Muslims, through enhanced credit support for economic activities, AIMIM has been impressing upon the Government to instruct the banks to provide more credit flow to the minorities under the Priority Sector Lending. The Reserve Bank of India has set a target of 15 percent of Priority Sector Lending for Minorities.
The Priority Sector Lending for Minorities has increased four-fold from Rs 4,105 crores in 2007-08 to 16,924 crores in 2013-14 in Andhra Pradesh. The enhanced credit works out to 7.05 percent of the total PSL, as against the stipulated target of 15 percent as on 31st March 2014.
MINORITIES WELFARE DEPARTMENT & COMMISSIONERATE
In 1993, AP also became the first State to set up a separate Minorities Welfare Department at the Secretariat level by taking away the subject from the Social Welfare Department. All the minority-related bodies were brought under the administrative control of this Department. Subsequently, Minorities Welfare Commissionerate was formed at the Directorate level in 1996. A full-fledged Minorities Welfare Commissionerate became operational in 2013, on the demand of AIMIM.
SEPARATE HEAD OF ACCOUNT & LEGISLATURE COMMITTEE FOR MINORITIES WELFARE
AP also got the distinction of introducing a separate Head of Account for Minorities Welfare and earmarking Budgetary provisions for this Head of Account from the late 1990s onwards. AP Legislature became the first in the country to constitute a separate Legislature Committee on Minorities Welfare to review the activities of minority-related departments and schemes on the lines of the Legislature Committees for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes.
QUANTUM JUMP IN STATE BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS FOR MINORITIES WELFARE
Starting with an annual allocation of Rs four crores in 1994-95, the budgetary provision for Minorities Welfare reached Rs 1,027 crores in 2013-14 in the undivided AP. The allocations witnessed this quantum jump (257 times in 20 years) since AIMIM had been representing to the State Government on the eve of preparation of the Budget every year to make higher allocations for Minorities Welfare in keeping with their special requirements. After the bifurcation of the united AP, the residuary AP State has allocated Rs 371 crores for Minorities Welfare in the 2014-15 State Budget and Telangana Government has also raisedthe allocation to Rs 1,034 crores during 2014-15.
STATE MINORITIES COMMISSION
AP was the first State to set up the State Minorities Commission in 1979 to ensure that the minorities are not discriminated against. Responding to the demand of AIMIM, the Government accorded statutory status to the Minorities Commission by enacting the AP State Minorities Commission Act in 1998. The Minorities Commission conducted a study on the socio-economic and educational status of minorities in the State in 1989.
CENTRE FOR EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF MINORITIES
The Centre for Educational Development of Minorities (CEDM) was established at Nizam College campus in Hyderabad in 1994 for implementing coaching schemes for minority students and youth. The Centre imparts free coaching to minority candidates in admission-seeking competitive examinations—EAMCET, ECET, EDCET, ECET, LAWCET, PGCET, CEEP, DIET-CET etc—for professional courses.
The CEDM also provides free coaching for job-seeking competitive examinations and recruitment tests such as Civil Services, APPSC Group I, II, III and IVexaminations, NET and DSC. The Centre also imparts free coaching for X Class students to improve their performance in SSC public examinations. About 15,000 students are provided coaching through CEDM centres in Hyderabad and other places every year.
STATE HAJ COMMITTEE
AP became the first State to set up State Haj Committee under the Central Haj Act 2002 for making arrangements for the pilgrims proceeding for Haj. The AP Government constructed a multi-storied Haj House at a central location in the State capital, Hyderabad, in the late 1990s for providing accommodation to pilgrims from all over the State before they proceed for Haj. About 8,000 pilgrims go for Haj from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana every year. The State Government has decided to construct a new Haj House at a 10-acre site, at an estimated cost of Rs 12.5 crores, near Shamshabad (Hyderabad) International Airport.
SETWIN FOR TRAINING YOUTH
Society for Employment Promotion and Training in Twin Cities (SETWIN) was set up in Hyderabad in 1978 by the State Government to create employment and self-employment opportunities to unemployed youth in the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad by providing training in various courses at nominal fees. SETWIN was established in response to AIMIM demand for creating training and self-employment opportunities for minority youth of Hyderabad.
Since 2007, SETWIN, which was providing its training services in Hyderabad, extended its services to the districts to improve self-employment opportunities in rural areas. It runs 33 training centres. SETWIN operates various production units, such as printing presses, cane weaving centres and book binding units. It also operates mini-buses to augment RTC bus services in Hyderabad. The SETWIN bus services were started in 1979.
Fulfilling a longstanding demand of AIMIM, the State Government set up Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority in 1981 as a specialized agency for the overall development of the Old City. The announcement was made by then Chief Minister T Anjaiah as a “Bakrid gift” for the people. To make it a high-profile body, the Chief Minister was made the ex-officio chairman and the Municipal Administration Minister as ex-officio vice-chairman of QQSUDA.
The QQSUDA’s jurisdiction extends over 64.5 sq kms spread over 11 assembly constituencies—namely, Charminar, Bahadurpura, Yakutpura, Chandrayangutta, Malakpet, Goshamahal, Karwan, Nampally, Jubilee Hills and parts of Maheshwaram and L B Nagar. The QQSUDA area has a population of 25 lakhs.
The QQSUDA’s mission is to plan and promote the development of Old City through creation of infrastructure such as sewerage, storm water drains, borewells, internal roads, CC roads, community halls, compound walls for graveyards, recreational and market facilities, hospital and school buildings, housing and other works. The State Government has provided non-plan and plan assistance of Rs 300 crores to QQSUDA over the last 33 years. QQSUDA was allocated Rs 19 croresduring 2013-14 financial year.
STATE WAKF BOARD
AP State Wakf Board, one of the biggest wakf boards with over 37,740 registered wakf institutions and 1.45 lakh acres of lands, has been facing the problem of massive encroachments by all and sundry, including the State Government and its various wings and agencies. Over the decades, almost 50 percent of wakf lands and properties have come under encroachments.
AIMIM has mounted a campaign for eviction of all encroachers from the wakf lands. Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbar Uddin Owaisi have been demanding the Government not only to remove the encroachments on wakf lands from land grabbers but also to return to the Wakf Board the wakf lands that the government agencies and departments have occupied.
AIMIM has contested the Government claims of ownership over the lands belonging to famous dargahs such as those of Hazrat Baba Sharfuddin at Pahadi Shareef, Maqdoom Biyabani at Alur, Hussain Shah Wali at Manikonda and Syed Ali Ishaq Madani Aulia at Visakhapatnam. The lands of these dargahs and other wakfs in Rangareddy and other districts had been taken over by the Government and allotted to AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and other departments which, in turn, leased or sold these out to IT and pharma companies, other institutions and Special Economic Zones, literally for a song.
Noting that the approximate value of these wakf properties would exceed Rs 35,000 crores to Rs 45,000 crores, AIMIM opposed the contentious action of the AP Government in snatching away the lands of these dargahs and other wakfs.AIMIM has been exerting pressure on the State Government to reconsider its stand and restore the lands of these dargahs and other such wakfs to the Wakf Board.
The campaign by AIMIM is yielding results. Due to sustained efforts of Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbar Uddin Owaisi, AP Government became the first in the country to return 85 acres of prime lands to the State Wakf Board in lieu of the lands of Baba Sharfuddin Dargah (on the outskirts of Hyderabad) that were grabbed by the Government in the early 1950s.
REPAIRS TO MASJIDS, DARGAHS AND ASHOORKHANAS
Besides its core task of identification, registration, protection and development of wakf properties, the State Wakf Board undertakes repairs to masjids, dargahs and ashoorkhanas and construction of compound walls in Muslim graveyards. Over the last five decades, the Board has carried out repairs to scores of masjids, dargahs and ashoorkhanas by spending crores of rupees.
SPECIAL FUNDS FOR RAMZAN, BAKRID AND MUHARRAM
On the demand of AIMIM, the State Government sanctions special funds for taking up works in Hyderabad and other districts in connection with the Ramzan and Bakrid festivals as well as observance of Muharram. While the civic bodies take up civic works, the Wakf Board undertakes works relating to masjids and Idgahs and ashoorkhanas.
STATE WAKF TRIBUNAL
For expeditious disposal of disputes and cases relating to wakf properties, the State Government set up the AP State Wakf Tribunal for the first time in the country in 1997. The tribunal, located in Hyderabad, exercises jurisdiction over the whole State for determination of any dispute, question or other matter relating to wakf property. The tribunal delivered a landmark judgement in the dispute between the State Government and the Wakf Board over Manikonda jagir (wakf) lands belonging to Dargah Hussain Shah Wali on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
SECOND WAKF SURVEY
The first Wakf Survey was launched in 1962 and took 14 years for completion. The Second Wakf Survey, which commenced in 2001, is still in progress and is likely to be completed by December 2015. Major field work has been completed in all the districts and the Second Survey tentatively revealed that there were 70,874 wakf institutions with 1,67,226 acres of lands in undivided Andhra Pradesh State. The Second Survey has established the ownership of several prime properties of Dargahs, Ashoorkhanas and Masjids which were wrongfully claimed to be revenue lands by the State Government.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR MARRIAGE OF POOR MUSLIM GIRLS
Incidentally, AP became the first State in the country to implement a scheme for conduct of mass marriages of poor Muslim girls from 2008-09 onwards. Till date, marriages of hundreds of poor Muslim girls were conducted with assistance of the Government. On the representation of AIMIM, the Telangana Government recently revamped the scheme and named it as “Shaadi Mubarak scheme. ” Under the scheme, financial assistance of Rs 51,000 is granted for the marriage of unmarried Muslim girls whose parental income is less than Rs two lakh per annum.
MINORITIES GET SHARE IN 37 STATE SCHEMES
Similarly, the State AP Government has been implementing as many as 37 schemes for the under-privileged sections of society, including the minorities. These schemes include Indiramma Pensions to Old Age Persons, Widows and DisabledPersons, MGNREGS, Vaddileni Runalu (Zero Interest) Loan Scheme for Women Self-Help Groups, Dr YSR Abhaya Hastam (Artisan Old Age Pension) Scheme, Deepam (Subsidised Gas Connection) Scheme, Rs One-a-Kg Rice Scheme, Mid-Day Meals Scheme, Arogyasri Health Insurance Scheme for the Poor, Indiramma Rural and Urban Housing Scheme, Rajiv Awas Yojana (Housing Scheme), Jawahar Knowledge Centres (for imparting soft skills to graduates) and Scheme for Assignment of Lands to the Landless Poor. A substantial number of poor minority persons/ households have benefited from these schemes so far.
SUB-MISSION FOR MINORITY YOUTH
In 2011, the State Government launched Rajiv Yuva Kiranaalu (Rajiv Education and Employment Mission) to ensure that every educated young boy and girl is provided an opportunity to settle down in life. Though the State cannot offer government jobs to all of them, it can certainly play the role of a facilitator in linking entrepreneurs and job-seekers. On the demand of AIMIM, an exclusive Sub-Mission was launched for the Minorities for coverage of unemployed Muslim youth in a big way to provide them employment opportunities.
RECRUITMENT OF MINORITY YOUTH
In 2011, the State Government also took up recruitment of nearly two lakh youth for public employment. The Government issued notifications for large-scale recruitment of police personnel, school teachers, medical and para-medical staff, and other employees in various departments as well as state public undertakings such as Transco, Discoms and RTC. The AP Public Service Commission issued notifications for Group II and other departmental vacancies all over the State.
On the demand of AIMIM on the floor of the Assembly, the then Chief Minister assured that in the recruitment tests conducted for filling up all these vacancies, applicants would be allowed to take the tests in Urdu medium also, since Urdu is the mother tongue of a large section of State’s population and also because it is the State’s second official language and notified as such in 15 minority-concentrated districts.
NAC CAMPUS IN OLD CITY OF HYDERABAD
Responding to a demand from AIMIM, the State Government started a campus of the National Academy of Construction in the Old City of Hyderabad in 2011. The NAC Centre offers courses for electricians, plumbers, civil supervisors, computer operators, curtain stitchers and other trades for youth, particularly from minority community. In the last three years, NAC Centre has trained 1,580 youth, out of whom 1,180 secured placements with monthly incomes of more than Rs 15,000.
Dairatul Ma’arif-il-Osmania was established in 1888 in the reign of the Sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Mahbub Ali Khan. Later, the Seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, extended his patronage and in the course of time, the institution acquired global fame and recognition in the field of research and editing. The institution was tasked to procure, transcribe, collate, edit and publish rare Arabicand Persian manuscripts of prominent scholars belonging to the classical era of Islam for the use of contemporary scholars across the world.
The publications of Dairatul Ma’arif-il-Osmania cover a wide range of subjects that include interpretation of the Holy Quran, Tradition (Sunnat), Principles of Tradition, History, Philosophy, Philology, Sufism, Metaphysics, Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dialectics, Dogma, Islamic Jurisprudence and Ecology. The Institution has so far published more than 240 scholarly research works.
After the establishment of Minorities Welfare Department, Dairatul Ma’arif-il-Osmania was brought under the administrative control of this Department and the State Government assumed the responsibility for providing assistance for running this Institution. On the representation of AIMIM, the Government has sanctioned additional assistance for Dairatul Ma’arif-il-Osmania for meeting its establishment expenses and staff salaries so that this prestigious institution can continue its task of acquiring and preserving rare oriental classic manuscripts in Arabic and Persian.
MINISTRY OF MINORITY AFFAIRS AT THE CENTRE
The Ministry of Minority Affairs at the Centre was constituted in January 2006 after AIMIM MP Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi, alongwith Muslim MPs of other parties, represented to the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to form a separate Ministry for Minority Welfare by bringing all the different bodies and schemes meant for minorities under this ministry to enhance their efficiency.
PM’S NEW 15-POINT PROGRAMME FOR WELFARE OF MINORITIES
Also, on the representation of AIMIM, Prime Minister’s New 15-point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities was announced in June 2006, for enhancing opportunities for education, equitable share in economic activities and employment, enhanced credit support for self-employment, recruitment to State and Central Government jobs, improving the conditions of living of minorities and prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.
The underprivileged sections among the minorities are included in the target groups of various government schemes identified by the 15-Point Programme, which stipulates that 15 percent of targets and outlays under various schemes should be earmarked for minorities.
MINORITIES GET BENEFITS UNDER 20 CENTRAL SCHEMES
These 20 schemes include Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP), Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) Scheme, Swarnajayanthi Gram Swarogzar Yojana (SGSY), Swarna Jayanthi Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), New ITIs and Upgradation of Existing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), Integrated Housing and Slum Development (IHSD) Scheme, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) Scheme, Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSMT) and National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM).
Besides, exclusive schemes for minorities are included in the PM’s 15-Point Programme, namely Pre-Matric, Post-Matric and Merit-cum-Means Scholarshipschemes, Modernisation of Madarsa Education and Greater Resources for Teaching Urdu and Area Intensive Programme for Educationally Backward Minorities.
QUANTUM JUMP IN CENTRAL BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS FOR MINORITY WELFARE
In the last 10 years since 2004 general elections, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi highlighted the issues, concerns and problems of Muslim community in the Parliament and persuaded the Central Government to launch new schemes and initiatives for the minorities. Thanks to AIMIM’s constant efforts, the Central Government enhanced the budgetary allocations for welfare of minorities from Rs 17 crores in 2003-04 (last year of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government) to Rs 3,511 crores in 2013-14 financial year. This growth in the allocations represented a quantum jump (206 times) within a period of 10 years. Incidentally, the NDA Government has raised the allocation for Ministry of Minority Affairs to Rs 3,734 crores for 2014-15 financial year.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs is implementing 23 schemes through the Central agencies and State governments. The Ministry exercises administrative control over seven institutions, namely, Central Waqf Council (established 1964), National Commission for Minorities (1978), Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities (1957), Maulana Azad Education Foundation (1989), National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (1994), National Waqf Development Corporation (2013) and Dargah Khwaja Saheb, Ajmer.
MAULANA AZAD NATIONAL URDU UNIVERSITY
Osmania University was established at Hyderabad in 1918 by a Firman of the Seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, with Urdu as the Medium of Instruction. Incidentally, Osmania University was the first University in the country to offer instruction in an Indian language. However, after the integration of erstwhile Nizam’s State into Indian Union, the Medium of Instruction in Osmania University was changed from Urdu to English, thereby bringing a glorious era of the University to an end.
In this backdrop, a demand for a separate Urdu University at the national level has been voiced by AIMIM on the ground that Urdu, being one of the scheduled languages of the country and spoken by crores of people, deserved to have a university of its own. Consequently, Maulana Azad National Urdu University was set up as a Central University in 1998 by an Act of Parliament to promote and develop Urdu language and to impart vocational and technical education in Urdu medium through conventional and distance modes.
The University has built its campus at a sprawling 200-acre site at Gachi Bowli near Hyderabad. Apart from six Schools of Studies at its campus, comprising 13 teaching departments, the University has set up an Industrial Training Institute, a Polytechnic and a Model School at Hyderabad for offering instruction through Urdu medium.
4.5 PERCENT SUB-QUOTA FOR MINORITIES
AIMIM has been vociferously demanding the Central Government to implement Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations for providing 10 percent reservations for Muslims and five percent quota for other minorities in government jobs and Scheduled Caste status for Dalits in all communities. However, after dilly-dallying on the issue for several years, the Central Government announced 4.5 percent sub-quota for Minorities from within the 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in government jobs and central educational institutions in December 2011.
A batch of writ petitions were filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court by a Backward Class leader and several others, challenging the 4.5 percent sub-quota earmarked for Minorities. A Division Bench of the High Court set aside the carving out of a sub-quota of 4.5 percent in favour of Backward Classes belonging to Minorities on the ground there was no proof cited to substantiate the socio-educational backwardness of the Minorities provided with reservation in employment and education. The Central Government filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which refused to stay the High Court judgement.
STRING OF SUCCESSES
AIMIM has a string of successes to its credit since it has been able to effectively plead its case with the successive governments at the Centre and in the State to concede the legitimate demands of the minorities. No wonder, the State and the Central Government set up institutions for the minorities, launched schemes and initiatives for the educational, social and economic development of the minorities and provided budgetary allocations for the welfare of the minorities.
AIMIM GETS MULTI-CRORE CIVIC AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS FOR HYDERABAD
ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN (AIMIM), which has a strong presence in Hyderabad since 1958, has been instrumental in getting many civic and infrastructural projects for Hyderabad metropolis, including the Old City of Hyderabad, through its sustained lobbying with the successive governments over the decades.
MODERN ERA IN HYDERABAD
Before discussing the developments that have taken place in modern Hyderabad, it will not be out of place to recall what Hyderabad city had to offer before it became part of Andhra Pradesh State and served as its Capital city.
The City of Hyderabad made rapid strides much before 1956. The foundation of a modern city was laid in the Nizam’s era, during the reign of Mir Mahbub Ali Khan (Sixth Nizam) and Mir Osman Ali Khan (Seventh Nizam). City’s first post office was opened in 1862. The Hyderabad Municipality was first constituted in 1869. Nizam Guaranteed State Railway was set up in 1871. Public Garden, with a zoo section, was opened in 1873.
The City was connected by broad gauge railway line with Wadi and Hyderabad (Nampally) railway station was built in 1874. Railway Stations were also built at Secunderabad, Kachiguda and other places. The government printing press was set up in 1876. The first telephone exchange in the City was commissioned in 1885. Charminar was declared as a protected monument in 1886. Also in 1886, Chaderghat Municipality was formed for the New City of Hyderabad.
The City Water Works scheme for filtered water supply from Mir Alam Tank was executed in 1888. Hyderabad Water Works Department was formed in1889. In 1933, Hyderabad Municipal Act was enacted, making Hyderabad a municipal corporation with elected representatives. Elections were held to HMC and a standing committee was appointed in 1934.
The Nizam established Jubilee Hills Municipality in 1937, to coincide with the silver jubilee of his coronation, as the fourth city, in addition to Old City, New City and Secunderabad. This was at a time when Banjara Hills got only its first few bungalows. In 1945, Secunderabad municipality was constituted.
GIS Sub-stations are constructed as they occupy less space and are maintenance free. Underground XLPE cables are laid to avoid entry problems instead of Tower Lines. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 1,195 crores, out of which JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) has come
forward to provide loan of 23697 Japan Million Yen (Rs.940 Crores).
SETWIN TRAINS 4 LAKH CITY YOUTH
SOCIETY FOR TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROMOTION IN TWIN CITIES (SETWIN) was established in 1978 as an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act to provide Skill Development Training (SDT) to the Un-Employed Youth in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. There are 22 centers owned by SETWIN conducting training programmes in different trades in the twin cities.
About 4 Lakh educated un-employed youth have been trained by SETWIN so far in different job oriented skills. SETWIN has also launched public transport service in 1980 and at present 100 mini buses have been allotted to 400 un-employed youth which are operating on 57 identified routes in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The State Government provides grant-in-aid to SETWIN.
A string of industries were set up in and around Hyderabad from 1873 to 1946, in fields like spinning, iron foundry, chemicals, fertilizers, glass, hume pipes, clay works, paper, sugar, cigarettes, tools, silk, asbestos, lamination products, potteries et al. Famous among these were Vazir Sultan Tobacco (VST), Hyderabad Allwyn and Praga Tools.
Incidentally, civic infrastructure development of Hyderabad on a large scale began after the severe floods in River Musi in September 1908, which almost devastated the city. Hundreds of people were washed away in the Musi and thousands of others were rendered homeless overnight.
This necessitated the planned development of the City in a phased manner. Sir M Visweswarayya, the renowned engineer, was specially invited and appointed adviser to Nizam's Government to suggest measures for flood control and improvement of the City. On his suggestion, Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar were constructed in 1920 and 1927 respectively not only to control the floods in River Musi but also to supply drinking water to the City.
The City Improvement Board was set up in 1912 for construction of roads, markets, housing colonies, slum housing and shopping centres like Pathergatti in the City. In 1922, full-fledged protected water supply scheme was commissioned. Electricity was made available to the people in 1923, with a thermal power station set up on the banks of Hussainsagar Lake.
In 1928, the City was linked with Kazipet by broad gauge line and with Bangalore by metre gauge line. In the same year, city and suburban rail service began. In 1932, bus service was started in the City and the City bus depot was built with the hangar imported from Westinghouse of the USA. By 1936, the City was connected with other district headquarter towns. In 1935, the Madras-Karachi air service was linked with Hyderabad with Hakimpet as airport. Deccan Radio went on the air in 1932.
Many utility buildings such as Town Hall, Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Kachiguda railway stations, High Court, City College, State Library, Osmania General Hospital, Unani Hospital, Moazzam Jahi Market and Osmania University were constructed during this period. New roads were constructed and road widening was taken up. Roads were also built along the Musi river banks. New bridges were built in place of old ones at Puranapul, Muslim Jung Bridge, Nayapul and Chaderghat Bridge.
Drainage network was laid. Separate storm water drains were built. Water supply lines were laid and service reservoirs were built. Streetlights were installed on the main thoroughfares. In 1936, the Begumpet aerodrome was built on a 187-acre site and Hyderabad was put on the air map of India. Telephone system was further expanded. Industrial estates were established.
In 1930, Sir Visweswarayya drew up the first master plan envisaging a civic centre, inner circular road, outer circular road, radial and trunk roads and even a circular railway. The plan also suggested opening out congested areas, housing schemes, river improvements and development of parks and gardens. In 1944, another city planner, Mohammed Fayyazuddin came up with a new master plan for the City.
The new high court building was built in 1920. Jagirdar College (Hyderabad Public School) was set up 1913. Osmania University was established in 1918. Colleges of engineering, science, technology, education, physical education, law, medicine, veterinary science, agriculture and university women’s college were set up. Mahbub College was founded in 1862, Nizam College in 1874 and the City College in 1923. Asafia Library was established in 1892. Nizamia Observatory was set up in 1890.
Saifabad Palace (present-day Secretariat complex) was built in 1888, Town Hall (present Assembly building) in 1913, Shah Manzil complex (Raj Bhavan) during 1914-1936, Jubilee Hall in 1936 and Government Mint in 1803. A string of modern hospitals (Osmania, Niloufer, Nizamia, TB, ENT, Fever, Mental, Ayurveda and Homeopathy) were set up between 1890 and 1927.
HYDERABAD AFTER 1956
Much of the civic infrastructure of the twin cities was thus built and expanded in the 1930s and 1940s when the population of Hyderabad-Secunderabad ranged between 467,000 (1931) and 739,000 (1941). And, decades later, the basic infrastructure remained the same. These civic amenities have been improved and augmented in the last 58 years as the population of Hyderabad swelled to 68 lakhs by 2011 census.
Water supply network was expanded with the Manjira and Singur projects augmenting the water supply from Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. Sewerage network was augmented. New roads were laid around Hussainsagar and road widening was taken up on major thoroughfares during the 1980s and again in the 1990s. Flyovers and road overbridges were constructed at a score of places in the twin cities. New parks were laid. New stadia were also constructed. New bus depots and bus stations were built. Modern street-lighting was installed.
A huge network of government agencies and utilities has been set up with theobjective of nurturing a clean and hospitable Hyderabad. These bodies include Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad District Collectorate, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, Quli Qutub Shah Urban Development Authority, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, RTC Metropolitan Region, Southern Power Distribution Company, State Housing Board, City Traffic Police Wing, Regional Transport Authority, Urban Ceilings Authority, Roads & Buildings Department, Urban Community Development Project, Vaidya Vidhana Parishad, the South Central Railwaysand Hyderabad Telecoms. These and other agencies take care of civic amenities and utilities.
AIMIM’S INITIATIVES FOR OLD CITY OF HYDERABAD
AIMIM initiated a number of projects for the Old City of Hyderabad, including the first Rail Overbridge (ROB) at Dabirpura. AIMIM Mayor A Satyanarayana undertook indefinite fast in 1988 when Telugu Desam Government denied adequate funds to this civic body. The Mayor broke his fast after the then Chief Minister N T Rama Rao conceded the demands of AIMIM and ordered immediate release of funds.
In the last three decades, many developmental and civic works have been taken up in the Old City with proactive efforts of AIMIM. These include laying of Inner Ring road in the eastern, southern and western parts of the City, widening of the main road from Charminar to Falaknuma and many other roads such as Santoshnagar-Chandrayangutta, laying of new roads in many areas, construction of a number of electric substations and water supply service reservoirs, nala widening, laying of new sewer lines and storm water drains, introduction of SETWIN buses and mini-buses, Charminar Pedestrianisation project, construction of parallel bridges at Nayapul, Muslim Jung bridge and Puranapul, flyovers at Chandrayangutta, Langar House and Masab Tank, bridge across Musi at Bapughat (Langar Houz) and two bridges across Musi atChaderghat and Old Malakpet race course.
Other civic works taken up on AIMIM’s initiatives include slum improvement, construction of sports complexes such as Quli Qutub Shah stadium near City College, Salar-e-Millat Sports Complex at Chandulal Baradari and stadium at Saroornagar, parks at Imlibun, Golconda, Mir Alam Tank, Saroornagar and many other places, installation of modern street-lighting and high-mast lighting, construction of new hospital building for Government Maternity Hospital, construction of government school buildings, government junior and degree college buildings and hostel buildings, and modernisation of slaughter houses at Gowlipura, Ramnastpura and Jiaguda etc.
RS 2,025-CRORES OLD CITY PACKAGE
During 2002-2007, even though TDP-BJP alliance had their Mayor and Deputy Mayor in MCH, it was AIMIM-Congress alliance that controlled the Standing Committee and initiated many developmental and civic improvement activities in MCH area, particularly in the Old City. It was due to AIMIM’s efforts that in October 2006, the then Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy announced a Special Package for Old City with an outlay of Rs 2,025 crores as “Ramzan gift for the people.” The package covers underground drainage system, improvement of sanitation, drinking water supply, construction of houses and development of parks. The package is under implementation by different civic agencies.
Again, since November 2009, AIMIM and Congress shared power in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and have launched work on many new projects and schemes to improve civic amenities and infrastructure in the Old City of Hyderabad. As part of the Greater Hyderabad Development Project (GHDP), new flyovers are being constructed at Toli Chowki (outlay Rs 50 crores), Road Overbridge (ROB) at Kandikalgate (Rs 25 crores), Road Underbridge (RUB) at Uppuguda (Rs 10 crores), widening of roads at Saidabad (Rs 10 crores), Barkas (Rs 5 crores), Moghul ka Nala to Puranapul (Rs 15 crores), Bazar Ghat (Rs 30 crores), Moghulpura-Fateh Darwaza-Chandulal Baradari (Rs 3 crores), Hussaini Alam-Puranapul (Rs 5 crores), junction improvements, Musi river front development (Rs 50 crores), Mir Alam Tank improvements (Rs 5 crores), Errakunta Cheruvu (Rs 5 crores) and development of footpaths. The outlay on these projects in Old City comes to Rs 213 croresout of total project cost of Rs 813 crores.
CHARMINAR PEDESTRIANISATION PROJECT
GHMC has taken up Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) for preparation of traffic management plan and beautification around the historical Charminar and widening and development of inner and outer ring roads to solve the traffic problem in the congested area and to reduce the pollution levels.
SINGUR, KRISHNA & GODAVARI WATER SUPPLY PROJECTS
Over the years, the traditional sources of water supply for Hyderabad—Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar--have turned unreliable with monsoon failures occurring too often. In fact, Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar have gone dry for some years. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, augmentation of water supply to the City was taken up in four phases from Manjira river and Singur dam was constructed in Medak District. However, supply from Manjira and Singur has been fluctuating due to less inflows.
In this backdrop, in the 1990s, Krishna water supply project was envisaged to bring 16.5 tmc of water to Hyderabad from Nagarjunasagar in three phases of 90 million gallons a day (MGD) or 5.5 tmc in each phase. Phase I was completed in 2004 and Phase II in 2008. The Government launched the work on Phase III of Krishna Water supply project, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,670 crores, in 2013. The project has been completed recently.
In the meantime, the Government sanctioned in 2008 an ambitious scheme to bring Godavari water to Hyderabad under Chevella-Pranahita project. Godavari drinking water supply project was also envisaged in three phases of 10 tmc each. Under Phase I of this scheme, 172 MGD of water is to be drawn from Yellampally barrage, at a project cost of Rs 3,375 crores. Work is proceeding apace on this project also and it will be commissioned soon.
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board has taken up several other schemes, with massive outlays, for improvement of water supply and sewerage in slums (Rs 730 crores), remodelling of existing sewerage systems, extension and improvements in water supply and sewerage, strengthening of water supply network in GHMC (Rs 232 crores) and implementation of sewerage master plans.
ABATEMENT OF POLLUTION AND CONSERVATION OF RIVER MUSI
HMWSSB has taken up the project for Abatement of Pollution of River Musi at Hyderabad (Phase I) under National River Conservation and Development t an estimated outlay of Rs.336 crores and commissioned the Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) at Amberpet, Nagole & Nallacheruvu. Work on one STP with 51 Million litres a day (MLD) capacity at Attapur has also been completed.
HUSSAIN SAGAR LAKE CATCHMENT AREA AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has taken up Hussainsagar Lake and Catchment Area Improvement Project with loan from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with project outlay of Rs.370 crores. The project seeks to improve the lake water quality by preventing pollutants entering into the lake both from point-source & non-point sources of pollution and to maintain round the year water balance in the lake, through removal of nutrient rich sediments at lake bed, interception & diversion of dry weather flows, and improvement of Nalas.
The project would improve the overall lake environment and its surroundings for enriched biodiversity, thereby increasing the potentiality of eco-tourism. The project was launched in 2008 and it is likely to be completed by December 2014. The works under sewerage component such as 20 MLD and 5 MLD STPs are commissioned & 30 MLD STP is nearing completion. Construction of Interception and diversion structures, ring sewers, trunk sewers are under various stages of progress. The Shoreline components are also taken up and are in advanced stage of completion. The work of dredging of nutrient rich sediments at the mouth of the three nalas viz Balkapur, Banjara and Picket nalas has been taken up.
MULTI-MODAL TRANSPORT SYSTEM
The Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) Phase I was commissioned in August 2003, covering 43 kms and 26 stations and connecting Secunderabad, Falaknuma, Nampally and Lingampally over the existing railway network. Theproject was completed at a cost of Rs 178 crores. MMTS runs 84 services and carries about one lakhs commuters a day. It has become the preferred public transport for commuters from the Old City, New City and Cyberabad areas.
The MMTS service runs on high-speed electric trains which makes the commute fast and efficient. It is also a relatively cheaper mode of public transport. In 2010, the Government sanctioned the MMTS Phase-II project, covering 107 kms, at an estimated cost of Rs 641 crores. On completion of Phase II, the MMTS service would handle 3 lakhs commuters a day.
MMTS Phase II envisages connectivity to Shamshabad International Airport from Falaknuma and Umdanagar by laying a new double-line. The six other components include doubling or quadrupling of tracks, electrification, and restoration of track and remodeling of track between Telapur-Patancheru, Secunderabad-Bolarum, Sanathnagar-Moula Ali, Moula Ali-Malkajgiri-Sitaphalmandi, Bolarum-Medchal and Moula Ali-Ghatkesar.
HYDERABAD METRO RAIL PROJECT
The State Government approved development of Hyderabad Metro Rail project in three high-density traffic corridors in Hyderabad city spanning over 71 km in Phase-I based on a number of Traffic and Transportation studies conducted by various agencies. The three corridors are (1) Miyapur-LB Nagar:28.87 km; 27 stations; (2) Jubilee Bus Station (Secunderabad)- Falaknuma:14.78 kms; 16 stations and (3) Nagole- Shilparamam:27.51 kms; 23 stations. The cost of the Project as per the financial closure is Rs 14,132 crores.
OUTER RING ROAD PROJECT
The State Government has taken up major Infrastructure facilities in Hyderabad City through HMDA and one among them is construction of Outer Ring Road (ORR). The 158-Km long ORR passes through Patancheru (on National Highway- 65 towards Mumbai) – Kandlakoi near Medchal (on NH-44 towards Nagpur)-Shamirpet (on Rajiv Rahadari) – Ghatkesar (on NH-163 towards Warangal) Pedda Amberpet (on NH-65 towards Vijayawada) – Shamshabad (on NH-44 towards Srisailam) – Patancheru (on NH-65 towards Mumbai) providing connectivity to various National Highways, State Highways and Major District Roads.
The ORR is being constructed as an eight-lane access controlled expressway and the entire project is being implemented in 3 phases. Phase-I: From Gachibowli to Shamshabad – 24.38 Km; Phase-IIA: From Narsingi to Patancheru and Pedda Amberpet to Shamshabad-- length 62.30 Km; Phase-IIB: From Patancheru to Pedda Amberpet via Kandlakoi, Shamirpet, Ghatkesar --length 71.30 Km.
The ORR provides connectivity to the developments on the peripheral areas of the City, Hi-Tech City/ Gachibowli and International Airport at Shamshabad.The ORR also acts as a Bypass to the Hyderabad City and with the result, congestion and pollution in the core city would be reduced. The ORR is designed to relieve congestion in the Metropolitan Area and the Inner Ring Road, to provide linkage to the radial arterial roads and to connect the new urban nodes outside the City such as Hitech City, Games Village, Hardware Park, Singapore Township, Biotech Park, Apparel Park and Financial District etc. It would also provide high speed connectivity to 22 forthcoming Satellite townships, enable quick access to the international airport from strategic parts of the city and ensure linkage to the Hyderabad Metro Rail and Bus systems.
MODERNISATION OF POWER SUPPLY NETWORK
Metropolitan Zone of Telangana State Southern Power Distribution CompanyLimited, earlier known Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Limited, covering the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad, gets power supply from the State Grid. The Metro Zone is mainly fed from 220-KV EHT sub-stations at Chandrayangutta, Shivarampally, Shapurnagar and Moula Ali and 132-KV sub-stations located at 11 places. There are an estimated 16 lakhsconsumers (domestic, commercial and HT and LT- industries) and the peak demand comes to 1,500 Megawatts. The consumption averages 20 million units (MUs) a day, as against the demand for 25 MUs.
Transmission System Modernization and Strengthening Project in Hyderabad Metropolitan Area has been taken up by the Distribution Company (DISCOM) with JICA funding. Under the project, construction of sub-stations and laying of lines has been taken up to maintain reliable and quality power supply and to meet the load demand for the Information Technology (IT) sector and Special Economic Zones and other residential and commercial loads in and around the twin cities.
AIMIM RUNS COOPERATIVE URBAN BANK FOR ECONOMIC UPLIFT OF MINORITIES
Right since its revival in 1958, ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN (AIMIM) has been striving for economic uplift of the minorities, especially Muslims, and other underprivileged sections. AIMIM has been impressing upon the successive governments in the State to ensure that the minorities are benefited from welfare schemes implemented for various sections of society.
For long, the economic condition of Muslims had been pitiable, with a majority of them steeped in abject poverty. Most Muslims engaged in self-employment and ran small businesses or worked as artisans or in unskilled occupations. Even after the nationalization of banks in 1969, the benefits of priority sector advances for weaker sections were not reaching Muslims due to the uncooperative attitude of bank officials. This meant that the poor Muslims were left to the mercy of usurious money-lenders or greedy pawn-brokers who fleeced them through hefty interest rates. Thus, many Muslims were steeped in heavy debts.
DARUSSALAM COOPERATIVE URBAN BANK LAUNCHED
Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi had the vision to tackle this problem with a long-term strategy. He founded Darussalam Cooperative Urban Bank (DCUB) in September 1987 to improve the economic condition of underprivileged sections in general and Muslim community in particular. The DCUB was conceived to safeguard Muslims’ deposits and to extend loans to needy Muslims. The DCUB targetted low-income groups—small businessmen, hawkers, auto drivers and other self-employed persons—as its customers.
SPECTACULAR GROWTH IN DEPOSITS AND ADVANCES
The DCUB was registered under Section 64 of the Cooperative Societies Act. Over the last 27 years, the Bank has registered spectacular progress. Its deposits and advances have been growing steadily. The total deposits of DCUB have reached Rs 313.85 crores. The total loans and advances crossed Rs 213.04 crores. The total number of customers is 1.3 lakhs.
The total loans sanctioned from 1987 till date aggregated to Rs 2,214.20 crores and the total loans recovered till date amounted to Rs 2,015.58 crores. Not surprisingly, the Bank’s total non-performing assets are only Rs 10.48 crores. The Bank always exceeds the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) norms for priority sector and weaker section advances. The credit-deposit ratio is kept within the permissible level fixed by the RBI.
The DCUB has six branches now. The Bank took up computerization way back in the year 2000 and all branches were connected with the Bank’s head office and data centre five years ago. The Bank has achieved success by exercising utmost prudence in its operations and by adopting latest banking technology. The Bank has installed ATMs at all its branches. It is introducing Rupay Debit card for the customers.
To safeguard the depositors’ interests, the DCUB has insured deposits with the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation. The Bank holds AD-2 (Authorized Dealer Category 2) license for dealing in foreign exchange and for Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT). The Bank offers all types of accounts, including NRI accounts on par with nationalized banks within the framework of RBI guidelines.
EXTENSION COUNTER AT HAJ HOUSE
For the last few years, the DCUB has been opening temporary extension counter at the Haj House in Hyderabad to facilitate the Hajis to purchase Saudi Riyals for use during Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
The Bank has been extending loans to small businesses and households, including gold loans. The sanction of loans has grown manifold from a mere Rs 14.23 lakhs in 1987-88 to Rs 304.75 crores in 2013-14 financial year. The loan recoveries rose from Rs 4.23 lakhs in 1987-88 to Rs 306.57 crores in 2013-14. The outstanding loans amounted to Rs 198.61 crores at the end of 2013-14.
The DCUB has been getting “A” ranking continuously in audits by the RBI and Cooperative Department. The Bank has proposed to open three more branches in Hyderabad for which permission is awaited. The Bank also proposes to extend its operations to other States by opening branches to emerge as a Multi-State Bank.
AIMIM’s political achievements in 2014
The AIMIM participated in the municipal elections held in March 2014 in Andhra Pradesh in a big way. As many as 101 AIMIM candidates were elected as councillors/corporators in 21 municipalities and municipal corporations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in these civic elections. The winners included six non-Muslims. Incidentally, 38 women candidates of AIMIM were elected as councillors and corporators in the municipalities and municipal corporations across Telangana.
AIMIM nominees were elected as Chairperson in one municipality (Bhainsa in Adilabad district) and vice-chairmen in seven other municipalities, besides securing Deputy Mayor’s post in Nizamabad Municipal Corporation, in Telangana State. The chairperson of Bhainsa municipality is a lady.
AIMIM contested the panchayat raj elections in some places in Telangana State in March 2014. AIMIM won 21 posts of mandal parishad territorial constituency (MPTC) members in four districts, including 14 in Rangareddy district. The winners included three non-Muslim nominees. Nine AIMIM women candidates were elected as MPTC members. AIMIM candidate was elected as vice-president of Saroornagar mandal praja parishad in Rangareddy district in these polls.
AIMIM contested five Lok Sabha seats and 35 Assembly seats in the General Elections to Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly held in April 2014. AIMIM polled a total of 6,85,690 votes in the Lok Sabha constituencies and 7,37,034 votes in the Assembly constituencies that it contested. The Party had the status of a registered unrecognized party before the 2014 elections.
Following its success in the General elections wherein it won one Lok Sabha seat and seven Assembly seats in Telangana, the Election Commission of India accorded recognition to AIMIM as a State Party in the State of Telangana with Kite as its reserved symbol under the provisions of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, in June 2014.
As AIMIM fulfilled the requirements as per the provisions of the Symbol Order 2001 and also as per the provisions of the AP Panchayat Raj Act, GHMC Act and AP Municipalities Act, the State Election Commission notified AIMIM as a recognized political party with the status of State Party in the State of Telangana in June 2014. The State Election Commission also notified AIMIM as a recognized political party with the status of “State party of other States” in the State of Andhra Pradesh with Kite as a reserved symbol in June 2014.
AIMIM entered the Assembly poll arena in Maharashtra on a larger scale in October 2014. Two AIMIM nominees emerged victorious-- from Byculla constituency in Mumbai city and Aurangabad Central constituency in Marathwada region. Three AIMIM candidates were runners-up—in Aurangabad East, Parbhani and Solapur City Central. AIMIM’s 24 candidates in the poll fray polled a total of 4,89,614 votes. AIMIM also supported a Dalit candidate of Panthers Republican Party who polled 35,348 votes. The overall vote tally of 25 candidates aggregated to 524,962.
AIMIM’S RELIEF WORK AND CONTRIBUTION FOR COMMUNITY’S CAUSES
ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN (AIMIM) has a long track record of working for the welfare of Muslim community, other minorities and under-privileged sections of society during its 56 years’ standing in politics. Besides running a string of professional colleges and educational institutions and hospitals and medical centres, and a cooperative urban bank, AIMIM has been rendering service to the people, irrespective of caste, community and class, whenever the need arose, such as at the times of communal violence or natural calamities.
AIMIM has been the first to send relief teams and arrange assistance whenever natural calamities hit the State (Andhra Pradesh/Telangana) or communal disturbances rocked some towns. Right from 1970s till 2012, whenever communal incidents took place in Hyderabad, AIMIM not only distributed relief materials and financial assistance to affected families butalso arranged legal aid for minority youth who were implicated by the police in communal incidents.
RELIEF FOR RIOT VICTIMS
Whenever communal incidents took place in other places in the State, such as Nirmal, Bhainsa, Vitoli, Adoni, Sangareddy, Siddipet, Tandur, etc, AIMIM organized relief work and distributed financial assistance for affected persons. AIMIM also provided financial assistance for arranging bail for innocent Muslim youth upon whom cases were foisted in the wake of communal violence. AIMIM prevailed upon the State Government to provide ex-gratia to the affected, including injured persons, families of those killed or hawkers and petty shop-keepers who suffered damage to their properties.
MECCA MASJID BLAST & CM’s APOLOGY:
Bomb blasts rocked Hyderabad City’s historic Mecca Masjid in May 2007. Soon after, police opened indiscriminate firing in adjoining areas. AIMIM prevailed upon the State Government to order Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the bomb blast, judicial inquiry into the police firing and payment of ex-gratia to those killed or injured. Due to AIMIM’s sustained campaign, innocent Muslim youth, who were falsely implicated and jailed, were released on bail and the CBI subsequently caught right-wing elements of Hindu community for Mecca Masjid blast. AIMIM arranged bail sureties for these youth.
In December 2010, AIMIM pressured the then Congress Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to apologise to Muslim community for wrongful arrest and incarceration of innocent youth. The Government gave them financial compensation and also issued character certificates. This was an unprecedented act by a Chief Minister and a State Government anywhere in the country. The credit for this should rightfully go to AIMIM.
AIMIM distributed relief in riot-affected areas when Hyderabad City was rocked by communal incidents in 2010 and 2012. The party also arranged bail for Muslim youth who were falsely implicated in these disturbances. Apart from arranging financial help of Rs 10 lakhs, AIMIM pressured the Government to give ex-gratia for the families of Muslim youth killed or injured in police firing at Kishanbagh in the City in May 2014.
RELIEF FOR KURNOOL FLOOD VICTIMS
When floods inundated Kurnool City in the State in 2009, AIMIM relief teams under Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi’s leadership reached the town even before the then Chief Minister K Rosaiah and official relief teams arrived there. AIMIM arranged relief worth more than Rs two crores for Kurnool flood victims. AIMIM teams camped in the town for more than a fortnight and distributed relief to affected people, both Muslims and Hindus.
MEDICAL AND RELIEF TEAMS SENT TO OTHER STATES
Similarly, whenever major communal disturbances occurred or floods ravaged other parts of the country, AIMIM organized relief work. In recent times, AIMIM teams worked in Gujarat (after the 2002 riots), Assam (following riots in July 2012), Uttarakhand (during the floods in June 2013) and Jammu and Kashmir (floods in September 2014). Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi visited communal riot-hit Muzaffarnagar town in October 2013 and distributed relief to affected families there.
RELIEF FOR GUJARAT RIOT VICTIMS
When Gujarat was rocked by anti-Muslim riots in February/March 2002, AIMIM sent medical and relief teams to riot-affected areas. AIMIM medical teams provided much-needed medical care to riot victims. About Rs 25 lakh worth of medicines were distributed. Subsequently, when Gujarat police arrested and jailed Muslim youth from Hyderabad in connection with cases foisted on them, AIMIM arranged legal help for them. Most of these innocent youth were acquitted by Gujarat courts after they spent years in jails on trumped-up charges.
RELIEF WORK IN ASSAM
Medical and relief teams of AIMIM worked in riot-hit areas of Assam during July-September 2012, after lakhs of Muslims were rendered homeless and driven to relief camps. Medical teams treated the inmates of relief camps while relief teams distributed relief kits to the riot victims. Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM teams to Assam. The medical teams treated 25,000 persons and distributed medicines worth Rs 20 lakh. AIMIM also distributed relief material worth Rs 1.25 crores.
RELIEF TO UTTARAKHAND FLOOD VICTIMS
When flash floods ravaged Uttarakhand in June 2013 and thousands of Hindu pilgrims and local residents were affected in Kedarnath, Badrinath and other pilgrim centres, AIMIM rushed medical and relief teams to provide medicare and relief to affected persons. AIMIM contributed Rs six lakh to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and spent another Rs 74 lakh on relief kits and medicines for the flood victims. AIMIM’s relief teams included Hindu brethren. About 5,000 relief kits, comprising essential commodities and clothing and bedding, were distributed.
VISIT TO MUZAFFARNAGAR
After the vicious communal violence devastated Muzaffarnagar and other adjoining places in Uttar Pradesh during August-September 2013, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi wanted to visit the affected areas to see the plight of the victims from Muslim community. However, the UP Government prevented his entry into riot-affected areas. Subsequently, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi visited the relief camps at Shahpur and Shikarpur. He donated Rs three lakh for the marriage of three riot-affected girls.
AIMIM has been working with various other Muslim organizations and institutions across the country over the last five decades. AIMIM has been associated with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) which was constituted in 1973 for the protection of Shariat Laws in the country. Fakhr-e-Millat Maulvi Abdul Wahed Owaisi and Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi served as members of AIMPLB. Naqeeb-e-Millat Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi has been an active member of AIMPLB.
RS 55 LAKH DONATION TO FIGHT BABRI MASJID CASE IN SUPREME COURT
After Allahabad High Court’s judgement in 2010 on the title dispute of Babri Masjid, AIMPLB has challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court. AIMPLB held a meeting in Hyderabad in April 2011 and gave a clarion call to Muslim community to donate generously to meet the high costs of legal battle in the Apex Court. Responding to the Board's appeal, Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi handed over a donation of Rs 55.5 lakh on behalf of AIMIM to AIMPLB.
AIMIM’S TRACK RECORD IN GREATER HYDERABAD MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
Hyderabad is the sixth largest metropolitan city in the country after Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru. GREATER HYDERABAD MUNICIPAL CORPORATION (GHMC) is the fourth biggest municipal corporation after Greater Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
GHMC was formed in April 2007 with the merger of Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad and 12 adjoining municipalities. GHMC is spread over an area of 650 sq kms with a population of 68 lakhs as per 2011 census.
ALL INDIA MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL MUSLIMEEN (AIMIM)’s nominee Mohammed Majid Hussain took over as the Mayor of GHMC on 3rdJanuary 2012. He completed his nearly three-year tenure on 3rd December 2014. The GHMC has many achievements to its credit during the 35 months of AIMIM’s mayorship.
“SHAHER HAMARA, MAYOR HAMARA”
It was the vision of Salar-e-Millat Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, who had given the slogan of “Shaher Hamara, Mayor Hamara” when elections were held to the then Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad in 1986.
AIMIM had its mayors for five years in a row in the erstwhile MCH during 1986-1991. Three of the AIMIM mayors during that period were Dalits—KalraPrakash Rao, Anumula Satyanarayana and Allampalli Pochaiah. M K Mubeen and Mir Zulfiqar Ali were the other two AIMIM mayors.
Incidentally, during 2002-2007, AIMIM alongwith the Congress controlled the Standing Committee of MCH though Telugu Desam Party and Bharatiya Janata Party had their Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively. Again, after the formation of GHMC, the AIMIM-Congress alliance had been ruling this premier civic body since November 2009.
AIMIM MAYOR FOR GHMC
During the last three years, the GHMC has grown from strength to strength, under the stewardship of AIMIM Mayor Mohammed Majid Hussain. GHMC’s achievements during this period are many as AIMIM strove to transform the GHMC into a truly metropolitan civic body with focus on development of its civic infrastructure and welfare of its residents. Many new works were taken up and numerous key initiatives were launched. AIMIM has also stuck to its promise of augmenting the GHMC’s revenues without adding to the tax burden on the residents.
AIMIM Mayor has presented GHMC budgets for three financial years 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. The total revenues of the Corporation have gone up from Rs 1,828 crores in 2011-12 to Rs 2,617 crores in 2013-14. The total expenditure went up from Rs 1,668 crores in 2011-12 to Rs 2,399 crores in 2013-14.
SURPLUS BUDGETS FOR GHMC
When AIMIM mayor took over, the GHMC made a modest surplus of Rs 160 crores in 2011-12. The Corporation had a huge overdraft. GHMC cleared the loans and made a surplus of Rs 218 crores in 2013-14.
Apart from meeting the ever-increasing establishment and administrative expenses, the GHMC has stepped up the revenue and capital expenditure on maintenance and operation and development of roads, buildings, bridges, flyovers, storm-water drains, street-lighting, slaughter-houses, parks, playgrounds and solid waste management, as well as on welfare schemes such as Aasara, Vikasam, MEPMA, night shelters, etc.
Among the major decisions taken since January 2012, the GHMC has approved the report of Prasad Committee on the reorganization of GHMC administration and augmentation of staff. The Government has sanctioned additional staff of 2,607 for all the wings of the GHMC. The GHMC is in the process of increasing the number of circles from 18 to 30 with proper staffing in all the circles and zones of the Corporation.
RS 813-CRORES GHDP
The GHMC, under AIMIM’s stewardship, launched the Greater Hyderabad Development Plan (GHDP) to provide improved civic infrastructure by constructing flyovers, railway under bridges and over bridges, taking up widening of roads and junction improvements and development of city level and colony parks in the core city as well as peripheral areas. The estimated outlay of the project is Rs 813 crores.
Works on Old City Development Package, Charminar Pedestrianisation Project, Musi Revitalization Project, Nala improvement, sports complexes, modernization of slaughter houses and fish markets, conservation of lakes and biodiversity parks, Mir Alam Tank development, Moula Ali road-ramp, road widening on Hyderabad Metro Rail corridors and Multi-Modal Transport System-II and various other projects were expedited.
FOCUS ON BIODIVERSITY
The GHMC hosted the 11th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP-11), a prestigious event of Convention of Bio-Diversity (CBD) from 1st to 19th October 2012. The GHMC also co-hosted the Cities for Life, a parallel event to the CBD COP-11, during October 2012, which attracted more than 500 participants from 45 countries across the world. The GHMC spent Rs 265 crores on developmental and beautification works in connection with COP-11. The Corporation exclusively appointed an Additional Commissioner, Biodiversity Wing, to take care of environmental issues in the GHMC area.
When AIMIM took over the Mayor’s post, it had promised to ensure the development of civic infrastructure in the core city (erstwhile MCH) as well as the other areas (the extended area that covers erstwhile 12 municipalities) on a top priority. AIMIM assured to do justice to all the 150 divisions to ensure that no area lags behind the others in terms of civic amenities.
BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS FOR CORPORATOR DIVISIONS
In furtherance of this objective, AIMIM directed the GHMC to allot Rs one crore each for every corporator ward in the GHMC Budget for 2012-13 and 2013-14 for taking up works identified by the respective corporators. The funds included releases for sewerage and water works. The GHMC also stepped up the allocations for water supply, street-lighting and storm water and drainage networks in the peripheral areas (non-core city).
The AIMIM Mayor has recently presented the GHMC budget for 2014-15 with a record allocation of Rs 4,599 crores. A number of new schemes and initiatives are envisaged in the budget, including the food scheme (which has already been launched), training programmes for youth and women, school approach improvement, construction of 24 function halls, 400 Reverse Osmosis water plants, 1,000 toilets, 12 circle offices, theme and amusement parks, heritage tourism project, Gateway of Hyderabad, peripheral roads project and sports fellowships, etc. The GHMC has also enhanced the corporator budget to Rs 1.5 crores per division in core area and Rs two crores per division in peripheral areas.
CITIZEN SERVICE CENTRES
Thus, in the last three years, AIMIM strove hard to achieve the goal of making Greater Hyderabad a truly global city in terms of civic infrastructure and standards of living, even while preserving the rich cultural and historic heritage of Hyderabad. Apart from upgradation of civic infrastructure, AIMIM has focused on improvement of the delivery of various services by the GHMC through the Citizen Service Centres. The GHMC has also made all-out efforts in the area of housing and poverty alleviation.
A great challenge lies ahead to work for comprehensive development of the City in the direction of making it a Model City in the world. As the key civic body of the City rendering number of services to the citizens, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has a historic responsibility to perform.
Asaduddin Owaisi turns to ‘Gandhigiri’ to protest ban in Bengaluru
HYDERABAD: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday resorted to 'Gandhigiri' to protest denial of permission to address a public meeting in Bengaluru.
Owaisi insisted additional police commissioner, Bengaluru, Noorullah Shareef to accept flowers much to the amusement of onlookers as he came to his office at Darussalaam to serve the notice barring his entry into Bengaluru from February 19-25.
The notice cited court cases against Owaisi and the content of his speeches to bar his entry in the run up to the Bengaluru civic polls for which the MIM plans to field its candidates.
The officer seemed baffled at the unusual gesture and repeatedly said he cannot accept the flowers as a government servant.
"I am offering you flowers. I am not garlanding you," said Owaisi. When Shareef declined, Owaisi asked him to pass on the flowers to his superiors on whose orders the notice was being served.
A video of the exchange was posted on Owaisi's Facebook page and had over 50,000 views by Thursday evening.
The Bengaluru police had first granted and then revoked permission for Owaisi's public meeting on February 8.
The MIM moved the Karnataka high court against the permission withdrawal. The police informed the party that permission would be accorded if an application was filed with the DCP (east), which resulted in the notice on Thursday.
"The notice has pained me as an Indian, who can speak in the Parliament but not in Bengaluru. I have cases against me and I am innocent until proven guilty,'' said Owaisi.
"I am sure that the courts will do justice to me. As a citizen of India, I accept your notice but reject its contentions.''