AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that if the Narendra Modi government is really concerned about the empowerment of Muslims, it should take concrete steps like providing reservation and demand-driven scholarships to the community.
"Let the Modi government ban 'gau rakshaks' (cow protection vigilantes) to prove that it is genuinely concerned about the minorities," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader said.
The Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad told the media that constructive steps will help achieve the community's empowerment and not mere holding of panchayats.
He was reacting to the government's move to hold 'progress panchayats' among the Muslims. The first panchayat is proposed to be held in Haryana.
He said the Centre is launching such panchayats from a state where two Muslim females, including a minor, were raped and two Muslim youths murdered on beef consumption accusation.
"The Muslims in Haryana are being harassed in the name of checking their biryani. Let them raid five-star hotels in Gurgaon and check the biryani there," he said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also prove his sincerity by stopping statements emanating from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders that hurt the sentiments of the minorities.
Owaisi said empowerment of the Muslims was the constitutional duty of the Modi government and it was not doing a favour to the community.
The AIMIM leader also demanded five per cent quota to the Muslims in Maharashtra as per the Mumbai High Court order.
"You are giving job quota to the Jats in Haryana, to the economically backward classes in Rajasthan and to the Patels in Gujarat. Who is stopping you from extending reservation to the Muslims in Maharashtra," he asked.
Owaisi said the government should hold panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir, as there was an urgent need to reach out to the Kashmiris and talk to them since around 90 persons have been killed and peace remains shattered for nearly three months.
"You talk of empowerment but why are you against the minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia Millia," the MP asked.
He called for implementing the recommendation of a parliamentary standing committee to make demand-driven all minority scholarships, including pre- and post-matric and merit and means scholarships.
On India's decision not to attend the Saarc summit in Islamabad in November, Owaisi said the government had taken the right step since Pakistan did nothing to stop terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
It also did not act on the evidence given by India on 26/11 and the Pathankot attacks, the AIMIM leader noted.
Owaisi, however, said there is a need for a consistent foreign policy.
"You can't have a foreign policy where you go and attend somebody's marriage," Owaisi said in a jibe at Modi's surprise visit to Pakistan in December last year to attend the wedding of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's granddaughter.
On the Uri attack, Owaisi said while everybody knows that terrorists came from the neighbouring country, there was a need to introspect on how this happened.
Pointing out that there have been attacks on army installations in the past, he said there was a need to strengthen the internal system to prevent such incidents.