Three time Rajya Sabha MP and a prominent Muslim leader, Obaidullah Khan Azmi, on Sunday joined Congress party at its national headquarter in Delhi. Azmi’s return to the party comes just months before Uttar Pradesh goes to crucial assembly polls.
His joining the party has come as a huge boost to the party in an election, where Muslim votes are likely to be pivotal.
Meanwhile, Congress on Sunday sought to downplay the triple talaq issue, saying the “matter is in Supreme Court”, while former Rajya Sabha MP Azmi, asserted that he will oppose any “wrong move” on the issue by the government.
Azmi, who had vehemently opposed the Supreme Court judgment in Shah Bano case, said, “I am an office-bearer of All-India Muslim Personal Board. If the government tries to misuse it or make any wrong move on the issue then I will fight against it. I will oppose it in my individual capacity.” Azmi said this when asked about his stand on the triple talaq issue in the presence of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, Azmi sarcastically advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ‘look after’ the interests of his wife than to worry about Muslim women.
He said, “Islam is pretty clear on this issue and there’s absolutely no ambiguity on triple talaq. However, if some men have abused triple talaq, that doesn’t mean we should change the law. There’s a hidden agenda by the BJP behind raising this issue. My advise to Modi is to better worry about his wife Jashodaben’s interests than to worry about Muslim women. Last I heard, the poor lady was struggling even to get her passport made.”
Azmi is a three-time Rajya Sabha member. He had represented Uttar Pradesh (1990-96) and Jharkhand (1996-2002) as a Janata Dal member while being re-elected to the upper house in 2002 from Madhya Pradesh on a Congress ticket.
“He is joining the Congress party today and we welcome him. He was a part of Congress earlier too. In the beginning, he was with Janata Dal under V.P. Singh,” Congress General Secretary in-charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoted by IANS.
“His political experience and popularity as a religious leader and his secular credentials will benefit the party ahead of Uttar Pradesh elections. His presence will strenghtnen the Congress party in the state. We need his help and guidance,” he added.
Azmi said that Congress will emerge from “zero to hero in Uttar Pradesh.
“Congress knows how to emerge as hero from zero, and it will become hero in Uttar Pradesh. Congress is a party of certain ideology and secularism is its identity. Congress party has never compromised with its ideology,” he said.
“UP is a victim of communalism and casteism. Parties kept winning in UP, but not the state. I have come with the hope that both state and the party will win,” he added.
Azmi said that he planned to organise a lot of public shows to persuade Muslims to vote as intelligently as members of their community had done in Bihar adding that he will also be exposing the ‘true colours’ of Mulayam Singh Yadav and his ‘fake sympathy’ for the community.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)