Owaisi calls for quotas for Muslim women

The Hyderabad MP made the comment during an election rally at Bihar's Kishanganj, the lone Muslim majority Lok Sabha seat in the state.


Published Apr 22, 2024 | 2:10 PMUpdatedApr 22, 2024 | 2:10 PM

Asaduddin Owaisi in Bihar

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has made a strong pitch over quotas for Muslim women, flagging the alarmingly low representation, in Parliament, of females belonging to the minority community.

The Hyderabad MP made the comment during an election rally at Bihar’s Kishanganj, the lone Muslim majority Lok Sabha seat in the state, where the AIMIM’s provincial unit chief and MLA Akhtarul Iman is in the fray.

“The BJP-RSS falsely accuse the AIMIM of being against women’s participation in politics. As early as 2004, we had fielded a female candidate in Secunderabad. Peace be upon her,” said Owaisi, referring to late leader Humera Aziz.

“Our point is since Independence, 17 Lok Sabha polls have been held in the country, but the number of Muslim women who became MPs has been just about 20. So why not reservations for Muslim women,” he said on Sunday, 21 April.

Owaisi, who is an alumnus of the Lincoln’s Inn at London, and likes to be addressed with the prefix “barrister”, recounted the derision he faced upon moving an amendment, in Lok Sabha, to the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam brought by the Narendra Modi government.

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Women quota

“Speaker Om Birla said to me you want to bring in an amendment but there is hardly anybody to back you. I replied Allah is with me,” the AIMIM chief recalled.

His party also played a clip of Owaisi’s Kishanganj speech, with the relevant portion of the Lok Sabha proceedings inserted, on social media.

“My argument is that Muslims and the backward classes together comprise about 65 percent of the total population. We cannot deprive women of this vast social segment of their rights,” said Owaisi.

“Our contention resonated with many OBC organisations. Their leaders came to thank me, saying Owaisi sahib, only you and your party MP Imtiyaz Jaleel raised the matter of reservations for women from backward classes,” he claimed.

The AIMIM has declared it will contest over a dozen Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, where the total number is 40.

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