that its stand on the Telangana issue remains unchanged, the
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) Sunday ruled out supporting the
ongoing "people's strike" in the region for a separate state.
MIM president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi said his party would never
support strike as it was only causing misery to the poor. "We can
never support strike. How will the poor survive," he asked while
addressing a press conference here.
Groups fighting for a separate Telangana state have long been
demanding that MIM, a strong political force in Hyderabad, come
out openly in support of the movement.
Voicing his apprehension that the Telangana movement could take a
violent turn, Owaisi urged the central government to clear the
uncertainty by taking a decision.
"No doubt it is a sensitive and difficult issue but the centre
should spell out what is its thinking on the issue.
"Dividing a state is not like cutting the cake at a birthday
party," he remarked while advising Telangana leaders to show
seriousness and desist from setting deadlines.
"The developments of last two-three days indicate that it
(agitation) is heading towards violence. Youths are frustrated. I
can't say where this will reach a flashpoint," he said.
He advised Congress leaders in Delhi not to ridicule the strike by
stating that it has not affected the normal life.
"The normal life has definitely been affected. The poor are the
worst hit. There are three to four hour power cuts daily in
Hyderabad. The farmers of Telangana are worried," he said, adding
that Andhra and Rayalaseema regions were not affected.
He said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be the biggest
beneficiary if a separate Telangana state is formed. "Mark my
words. It is the BJP who is going to be benefited in separate
Telangana state. No other party will gain," he said.
"Why should I support it out of fear," the MP shot back when asked
about apprehensions that Muslims might be alienated in the
separate state for not participating in the movement. "Nobody can
deny me my right. India is a democratic country. There is a
constitution and rule of law," he said.
Owaisi refused to reiterate his party's stand on Telangana, saying
he was tired of it and blamed media for distorting it. He,
however, said the MIM stands by every word stated before
Srikrishna Committee, which looked into the Telangana issue.
MIM had stated before the panel that if division of Andhra Pradesh
becomes inevitable, Telangana and Rayalaseema regions should be
merged to form Rayala-Telangana state with Hyderabad as its
capital. It also opposed the idea of making Hyderabad a union