AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to divert public attention from real issues like the economic crisis, poverty and unemployment by talking of 'cow' and 'Om'.
He told reporters that Modi doesn't want debate on falling growth rate and people becoming jobless.
Owaisi was reacting to Modi's remarks made at the launch of a disease prevention programme for livestock at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh earlier in the day.
"Some people get a shock at hearing words like cow and Om and it is unfortunate," Modi had said.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief said it is unfortunate that Modi talks of only one religion. "He doesn't talk of the beauty of India, which is home to all the religions. He took oath on the Constitution and we had hoped that he will talk of all religions," he said.
He alleged that the Prime Minister made the remarks with an eye on the ensuing Assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.
"We want to ask the Prime Minister whether it is not true that each morning every Indian hears the azan from a masjid, Om from temple and hymns from other places of worship. He should have said the beauty of this nation is that it has followers of all religions.
"We also want to know from Mr Modi as to how many incidents of mob lynching occurred since he became Prime Minister," Owaisi said.
He said Modi stated three to four times that these incidents are painful but his words had no effect because his government and his party's state governments, instead of doing justice to the oppressed sided with the oppressor. Owaisi cited the case of Tabrez Ansari who was mob-lynched in Jharkhand. The murder charges have been dropped against the accused.
He said as Hindu brothers consider the cow as sacred, their religious sentiments should be respected. He, however, pointed out that the Constitution has given the right to life to human beings.
On Modi's remark that the cow is key to the economy, Owaisi commented that the economy is already destroyed. "He is bothered about the cow economy but not concerned about country's economy. The GDP growth has slumped to five per cent. 10 lakh people are going to be jobless in automobile sector. The rupee's value is falling but he is bothered about cow economy."