Asaduddin Owaisi – a powerful voice of Muslims in India

Hyderabad, Jun 5 (PTI) Asaduddin Owaisi, who was once the leader of a little-known outfit confined to the old city of Hyderabad, has emerged as a powerful voice of Muslims in the country in recent years.

On Tuesday, as the votes polled for the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency were counted, the MP defeated his BJP rival Madhavi Latha by a big margin of over 3.38 lakh votes, in what is seen as a testament to the iron grip of the Owaisi family over the old city.

Unfazed by criticism that he is “B team of BJP”, Owaisi has been making efforts to expand the party’s footprint across the country albeit with limited success.

Under his stewardship, the AIMIM has secured electoral wins in states, including Maharashtra and Bihar.

Though he is seen as a highly polarizing figure, Owaisi, a lawyer and Bar-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London, is a highly effective communicator in Urdu and English who can make his opponents defensive in any debate.

The fact that he does not hesitate to tread the lonely path was witnessed when he and his Lok Sabha colleague Imtiaz Jaleel were the only two members who voted against the women’s reservation bill in Lok Sabha.

A sworn critic of BJP and RSS, Owiaisi has been vociferous in his opposition to the CAA, NRC and NPR.

He hits back when BJP leaders often accuse the AIMIM of being a party of ‘Razakars’ (a private militia who defended the erstwhile Nizam rule in Hyderabad) and him of wielding influence over BRS and Congress.

Born on May 13, 1969, Asaduddin Owaisi was elected to the undivided Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Charminar constituency in Hyderabad in 1994 and re-elected in 1999.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 from Hyderabad and later in 2009, 2014 and 2019 and faced a spirited fight from BJP’s Madhavi Latha in the just concluded elections.

Owaisi was elected as president of AIMIM after the demise of his father and eminent Muslim leader Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, a six-term MP and five-term legislator, in 2008. Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi also represented Hyderabad as both MLA and MP.

Asaduddin Owaisi has been instrumental in persuading the Centre to establish an exclusive Ministry of Minority Affairs to look after the welfare of religious minorities, including Muslims, in the country, the party claims.

Asaduddin Owaisi worked for securing four percent reservation for socially and educationally backward Muslims in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2004, the website said.

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