As All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi took oath in Lok Sabha today, he was met with loud chants of “Jai Shri Ram“, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” from BJP parliamentarians. The Hyderabad lawmaker, however, smiled and gestured for louder chants as he walked up to the chair for his swearing-in as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha.
Taking a short oath, Mr Owaisi, responded, saying “Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Takbeer Allahu Akbar, Jai Hind“.
Mr Owaisi, however, forgot to sign the parliament register – just like Congress chief Rahul Gandhi yesterday – and was prodded to return to sign it.
When asked about the sloganeering in parliament by members of the ruling side, the AIMIM chief told news agency ANI outside parliament: “I think, it is good that they remember such things after seeing me. I hope they remember our constitution and the deaths of children in Muzaffarpur as well. I will keep an eye on them.”
Mr Owaisi was referring to the deaths of nearly 130 children in less than three weeks due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome or AES in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, a state ruled by Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United in alliance with the BJP. Mr Kumar had visited Muzaffarpur today, but was met by a crowd of angry parents and protesters chanting “wapas jao (go back)” since this was his first visit since the outbreak of AES.
Mr Owaisi was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from the Hyderabad seat for a fourth consecutive term in the recently concluded general elections. Amid an abysmal performance from the opposition, the BJP had won 303 seats – way above the 282 seat in won in 2014.
Shortly after the election results, Mr Owaisi had said that Muslims in the country should not worry about the BJP returning to power because the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to every citizen.
“India’s laws and Constitution give us the permission to follow our religion. When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi can go to a temple, you can also proudly visit a mosque,” he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
With inputs from ANI and PTI
Asaduddin Owaisi’s Response As Lawmakers Chant Jai Shri Ram During Oath – NDTV News