Hyderabad, Jan 19: Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (MIM) legislators here seem to be getting afflicted by the foot-in-the-mouth disease. After Akbaruddin Owaisi, it is now the turn of another MLA of the party to get widespread flak for an offensive comment on the Mahatma Gandhi statue outside the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
Addressing the public at Jagtial town in Karimnagar district on Jan 17, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri reportedly said that although the Nizams were responsible for constructing the Assembly building, Gandhiji's statue was installed in the premises.
Citing famous monuments such as the Red Fort, Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar, Quadri wanted to know: "We built all these. What have you constructed in Hindustan?"
The town BJP unit has lodged a complaint against the Charminar MLA and submitted a CD of Quadri's speech but no action has been taken so far. The advocate who filed the complaint quoted Quadri as saying: "...kiski baap ka building and kisku laake bithaya."
The police are apparently waiting for a report from the Special Branch and also legal opinion on whether Quadri should be hauled up for the objectionable remarks. According to Jagtial Circle Inspector M Kiran Kumar, a case will be registered once his higher-ups give the go-ahead.
Incidentally, a video of the controversial speech has already gone viral on YouTube and Facebook. Former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya slammed Quadri and described his remarks as "an affront to the nation." Government chief whip T Jayaprakash Reddy of the Congress condemned Quadri too for insulting all Indians.
Earlier, MIM was forced on the backfoot when its top leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was arrested for making a hate speech in Adilabad district on Dec 24, 2012. Reports say the accused told investigators that he did not say anything provocative. After they showed Akbaruddin CDs of his speech, he even claimed the voice that can clearly be heard in them was not his.
Bandaru Dattatreya expressed surprise over this. "It is a tactic to escape from the charges in the case," the BJP leader noted.