BJP's ‘Congress hates Muslims’ attack after MLA claims harassment over religion | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP's ‘Congress hates Muslims’ attack after MLA claims harassment over religion

Feb 23, 2024 09:25 AM IST

Zeeshan Siddique said he communicated to the party that his father's exit shouldn't have a bearing on his association with the Congress.

Mumbai: Congress MLA Zeeshan Siddique, who was sacked as the president of the Mumbai Youth Congress earlier this week, has claimed that he was being harassed within the party because he is a Muslim. The MLA from Vandre East is the son of Baba Siddique, who recently quit the Congress and joined Ajit Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party. Reacting to the remarks, the BJP said Congress hates Muslims.

Baba Siddique is a former minister. His son Zeeshan Siddique won his first election in 2019 (Instagram/Zeeshan Siddique)
Baba Siddique is a former minister. His son Zeeshan Siddique won his first election in 2019 (Instagram/Zeeshan Siddique)

"I won't say I will remain in the Congress, but I will discuss my political options with my supporters (first)," he said.

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Zeeshan Siddique said he communicated to the party that his father's exit shouldn't have a bearing on his association with the Congress.

"I have been repeatedly saying that even though my father Baba Siddique joined the NCP, I will remain with the Congress, but still action was taken against me," he said.

He claimed he bagged 90 percent votes in the election for the Mumbai Youth Congress president's post but the party took nine months to appoint him to the post.

"I had secured 88,517 votes in my Youth Congress chief election. But there was a huge delay in my appointment. Apart from me, injustice was done to Mohammed Nalpad, who was elected as Youth Congress president in Karnataka. Congress has no values. If Congress has problems with Muslims, then they must stop claiming that they are with Muslims," he said.

"When Milind Deora stepped down as president of Mumbai Congress, names of possible presidents were discussed. Muslim leaders like Naseem Khan, Aslam Shaikh, Amin Patel, and Baba Siddique were not considered. The Congress does not prioritise minorities," he added.

He said Muslims have no place in the Congress.

"I was harassed a lot because I am a Muslim," he said.

Also read: First body shamed and then discriminated by Cong over my Muslim identity: Zeeshan

"In Mumbai and Karnataka, two Muslim candidates won Youth wing elections but it took nearly a year for them to get the post in both cases," he said.

Zeeshan also said he felt bad about the Congress being in alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray (as part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi), when Thackeray, at a solidarity rally of the alliance in Mumbai, praised the demolition of Babri mosque.

He also claimed that Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge is not being allowed to work freely.

"Mallikarjun Kharge is such a senior leader but even his hands are tied. Rahul Gandhi is doing his job but it looks as if people around him have taken a 'supari' (contract) from other parties to finish off the Congress," he alleged.

BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla said Zeeshan Siddique's allegation has proved that the Congress uses the minorities for vote bank politics.

Also read: Zeeshan Siddique says he was asked to lose 10kg weight if he wanted to meet Rahul Gandhi

"Today Zeeshan Siddiqui has spilled out the beans which was told by me six-seven years ago that Congress is the most anti-Muslim party. It may project for the vote bank and for appeasement's sake that it is with the minorities. But actually, it has done the most damage to minorities. Today Zeeshan Siddiqui is facing it himself. We have seen that Congress allowed riot after riot to be orchestrated. Congress party used to say that Uddhav Sena is responsible for the Mumbai riots but today they have allied with them because Congress hates Muslims," he said.

"They only keep them as their vote bank. In Congress, apart from 'Parivaar', nobody can take decisions. What Zeeshan is facing today, Congress leaders had been facing for a long time because Rahul Gandhi is promoting such a culture," Poonawalla added.

Several Maharashtra Congress leaders have exited the party lately, including Milind Deora and Ashok Chavan. While Deora joined Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena, Chavan joined the BJP.

With inputs from ANI, PTI

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