Madhavi Latha
Madhavi Latha

BJP MP candidate Madhavi Latha makes provocative gesture aiming at mosque, Owaisi seeks action

Calling BJP leader Madhavi Latha’s gesture towards the mosque provocative, AIMIM chief Owaisi said that a Muslim leader would’ve faced the consequences if they had done something similar.

Kompella Madhavi Latha, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha candidate in Hyderabad, has triggered a controversy with a provocative gesture of shooting an arrow in the direction of a mosque while participating in the Ram Navami procession in Begum Bazar, Hyderabad. The video of the incident went viral on Thursday, April 18, leading to severe criticism against the BJP leader. 

Responding to the incident, Hyderabad incumbent MP and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaddudin Owaisi questioned the Election Commission and Hyderabad police as to why they were not taking suo moto action against the BJP candidate. 

Calling the gesture provocative and vulgar, Owaisi said, “If I would have done something like this, then suo moto action would have been taken against me. (We are) being called terrorists, insults are being hurled (at us) and Muslim women are being told to remove their hijabs.”

Owaisi also attacked the BJP and said that people of Hyderabad have seen their intentions. “Is this the 'Viksit Bharat' BJP is talking about? Peace in Hyderabad is bigger than elections. I am confident that the people of Telangana will vote against BJP who are against peace in the state,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Law and Policy Research Institute has filed a complaint with the Election Commission and Hyderabad Commissioner of Police for inciting violence. “This behavior is not only reprehensible but also a blatant violation of the principles enshrined in the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” the complaint read.

A day earlier on April 17, Madhavi Latha participated in the Shobha Yatra – an annual procession to celebrate the birth of Hindu god Rama – organised by BJP MLA Raja Singh in Goshamahal constituency, Hyderabad. In the video, she could be seen standing on top of a vehicle surrounded by a crowd and making a gesture of firing a bow towards the mosque in Begum Bazar.

Following outrage, Madhavi Latha issued an apology. She said, “It has come to my notice that one video of mine is being circulated in the media to create negativity. I would like to clarify that it’s an incomplete video and even because of such video if any one’s sentiments are hurt then I would like to apologise as I respect all individuals.”

In the Shobha Yatra, BJP MLA Raja Singh also challenged Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and said that they would reclaim Kashi, Mathura and 40,000 other Hindu temples, which are at present religious sites of the Muslims.

Madhavi Latha
‘Day is not far when we will reclaim Kashi, Mathura’: BJP MLA Raja Singh

Madhavi Latha, who is contesting elections for the first time, became popular through her controversial interviews in recent months. During the interviews, she has made several anti-Muslim remarks. She has claimed that ‘love jihad’ is prevalent in Old City, a bogus claim propagated by right-wing groups that Muslim men are ‘luring’ Hindu women into marriages to convert them to Islam, with no evidence to back their claims. In one interview, she claimed that the concept of ‘love marriage’ does not exist in Islam, and that any non-Muslim woman who marries a Muslim man will be considered a ‘slave’ by him. Madhavi Latha has also campaigned against triple talaq in Old City and sought for the renaming of Hyderabad to Bhagyanagar.

The 49-year-old is a trustee and founder of the non-profits Lathamma Foundation and Lopamudra Charitable Trust. She also runs a 'gaushala' or chow shelter. Her husband Vishwanath is the founder of Virinchi Hospital, and Madhavi Latha is one of its chairpersons.

Earlier, the Union government had enhanced the security cover of Madhavi Latha to Y plus category in view of “security threats” against her.

The News Minute