- PM has the confidence of 130 crore Indians: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
- Some people talk unnecessary things on the basis of religion: Mr Naqvi
- This does not help anyone: Mr Naqvi added
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today criticised AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for reminding India's Muslims that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi could visit temples, then they could visit mosques, and that their rights were protected by the Constitution. The Minority Affairs minister criticised Asaduddin Owaisi for talking about "unnecessary things on the basis of religion, caste and region".
Mr Naqvi, who is the only Muslim minister in PM Modi's new cabinet, also reminded the AIMIM leader "Modi has the confidence of 130 crore people of the country".
"Some people talk like this for the sake of their livelihood. Some people talk unnecessary things on the basis of religion, caste and region. This does not help anyone," Mr Naqvi was quoted in a report by news agency ANI.
"Modi-ji has made 130 crore people nation's development shareholders. Till now they (people) have been politically exploited. Now, those shutters are down. People now understand who is their real well wishers," he added.
Earlier, speaking at an event in Hyderabad on Friday, Mr Owaisi, who was re-elected to parliament from Hyderabad for a fourth consecutive term, also called Muslims "hissedaar (shareholders)" as opposed to "kirayedaar (tenants)".
"India's laws and Constitution give us the permission to follow our religion. When India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi can go to a temple, you can also proudly visit a mosque," Asaduddin Owaisi said.
"Securing more than 300 seats is not a huge thing, Because India has a living Constitution, the 300 seats (of the BJP) cannot take away our rights," he added.
PM Modi led the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to an outsized win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to form the government at the Centre for a second successive term. The BJP won 303 seats on its own (352 with allies). The AIMIM managed only two Lok Sabha seats.
Mr Owaisi had also taken aim at PM Modi over his "minorities fear" remark made while addressing BJP and NDA parliamentarians and chief ministers, in parliament, last week.
Mr Naqvi was not the only BJP minister to hit out over Mr Owaisi's remarks.
Giriraj Singh, who was yesterday named as Minister of Animal Husbandry, reminded the Hyderabad parliamentarian of PM Modi's slogan - "sabka saath, sabka vikaas" - and attacked him for "spreading hatred".
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always said 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas'. People like Owaisi are known for spreading hatred in society and the nation does not pay attention to statements of such people," he said.
With input from ANI