PATNA: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the Taliban a ‘terrorist-outfit’ and place it under the UAPA with immediate effect. Addressing a gathering in Patna, Owaisi said, “Who is stopping the Centre from declaring the Taliban a terrorist outfit? I have been saying since 2013 that emergence of Taliban could become a serious concern in future to India, but it might benefit Pakistan and China,” Owaisi said.
When asked about his decision to field mafia don-turned-politicians Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahamad as the AIMIM candidates from Uttar Pradesh, Owaisi said: “Why don’t you ask the same question of the BJP whose 37% MLA in UP have criminal cases against them? Why not one talks about Pragya Thakur? Is her image clean?”
On Atiq Ahmed, Owaisi said: “He is a citizen of India and unless and until he is proven guilty, he is eligible to fight elections.” He said his party would contest at least 100 seats in UP. Lashing out at the NDA on the issues of CAA and NRC, Owaisi said the government has committed a ‘strategic blunder’ in its attempt to corner the minority people. He also lashed out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, claiming he had failed completely on the development front. “Incompetent government resorts to survive on sloganeering,” Owaisi said in an apparent reference to Yogi’s Abbajan barb.