'Godse's followers might kill me for stand on Art 370'

'Godse's followers might kill me for stand on Art 370'

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi. PTI file photo

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said he might be killed by the followers of Nathuram Godse, who shot Mahatma Gandhi dead, since he was against the recent decision of the Centre to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, which gave a special status to the state.

He also alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to change Kashmir's demography through delimitation of Assembly constituencies to have its own chief minister.

Asked about the allegations that comments made by politicians like him helped Pakistan's propaganda, Owaisi told reporters here that such charges (against him) were not new.

"My belief is that somebody would shoot me one day. The followers of Godse can do so with me...If Mahatma Gandhi was shot, who is Owaisi. As long as I am alive, allegations would continue to be made," he said, while asserting that he had nothing to do with Pakistan.

Asked if he thought delimitation would happen in Kashmir, the Hyderabad MP said, "They want to do it. That is what the Election Commission said. The whole idea is to change the demography of Kashmir. The whole idea is to have a non-Muslim chief minister from the BJP only."

"That is why, this is a step in changing the demography of that state and that is why it has been bifurcated," he added and asserted that Kashmir was an integral part of India and would remain so.

Owaisi alleged that the BJP had love for Kashmir, but not for Kashmiris.

When pointed out that the conditions prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir were special, he said the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 and other articles of the Constitution could not be taken away.

"This government has forgotten constitutionalism," he said.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief also claimed that the government would remove certain special provisions in states like Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam and Himachal Pradesh.

"I am telling the people of Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam that it will happen there. These people would remove (special provisions) in Himachal also...," he said.

On the BJP raising the issue of the day of merger of the erstwhile Hyderabad state of the Nizam with the Indian Union (September 17, 1948) not being celebrated officially, Owaisi said he felt proud that Hyderabad became part of the Indian Union.

"About 10 lakh jobs would be lost in the automobile industry, but the 'liberation day' is being talked about," he said.

Addressing an Eid Milap meeting at his party office late on Tuesday, Owaisi said the government's decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- was against the principles of federalism as the state Assembly's views should have been taken before implementing such a decision.

Referring to actor Rajinikanth's comments lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah as Lord Krishna and Arjuna, he said, "Who are the Pandavas in this? Who are the Kauravas? So you would like to make Kashmir the Mahabharat? One actor has said, the other actors are happy. Feel happy."

The Congress in Tamil Nadu had also ridiculed Rajinikanth for his comments, asking him to "read the Mahabharat properly". 

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