AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has criticised the selection of Ram Nath Kovind as NDA’s presidential candidate over his alleged comments in 2010 stating that “Muslims and Christians are alien to the country”.
“Presidential elections have come. The candidate of BJP had given a statement in 2010. What statement did he give? ‘Muslims and Christians are alien to this nation’. That means, we have nothing to do,” he said addressing a gathering here yesterday.
Owaisi, Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, also hit out at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has announced his support to Kovind, as well as his alliance partner and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, describing them as “dramebaj”.
In 2010, while speaking to reporters, Kovind, then the BJP’s spokesperson, had called for scrapping of the Ranganath Misra commission report that recommended 10 per cent reservation for Muslims and five percent for other minorities in government jobs.
The report had also called for Scheduled Caste status for Dalits in all religions.
When reminded how Sikh Dalits were already enjoying the quota benefits under the same category even as he opposed the same for Muslims and Christians, Kovind had said, “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.”
He had added, “If the government accepts the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations, the convert Christians and Muslims would become eligible to contest on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. Thus the people of Scheduled Castes would have to share their reservations in government jobs and political fields with convert Christians and Muslims.”
Kovind, how functioned as Bihar’s governor until his nomination was made public, has received support from Nitish Kumar. Kumar is now being accused of having made his intention abundantly clear on joining hands with his former alliance partner, the BJP.
On Friday, Kumar refused to change his mind on supporting an RSS man, who, in the past, had made poisonous comments two of India’s largest minority groups.
(With some inputs from PTI)