Indian Muslim politician Owaisi’s pro-Palestinian remarks spark controversy


All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi’s remarks following his oath as a Lok Sabha member sparked a political controversy on Tuesday.

After taking his oath in Urdu, Owaisi expressed solidarity with Palestine, praised his state, Telangana, and raised the AIMIM’s slogan for Muslims, NDTV reports.

The post-oath comments by the five-time Hyderabad ‎Member of Parliament provoked strong reactions from the treasury benches, prompting the chair to strike them from the official record.

BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, the presiding officer at the time, assured members that any statements beyond the formal oath would not be recorded. Pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab also confirmed that only the oath or affirmation was being officially noted.

Defending his remarks outside Parliament, Owaisi stated, “Other members are also saying different things. I said ‘Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Jai Telangana, Jai Palestine’. How is it wrong? Tell me the provision of the Constitution. You should also listen to what others said. I said what I had to. Read what Mahatma Gandhi had said about Palestine.”

When asked about mentioning Palestine, Owaisi explained, “They are oppressed people.”

BJP sources have claimed that Owaisi could be disqualified for “demonstrating adherence to a foreign State, that is Palestine.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje has written to the Home Minister’s office, objecting to his speech and seeking action. She also requested the pro-tem speaker to ask Owaisi to take the oath again.

In a similar incident earlier this year, Aam Aadmi Party’s Swati Maliwal was instructed by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha to retake her oath after raising a slogan during the ceremony.

Owaisi was among the remaining MPs who took their oaths today, following a total of 262 newly elected MPs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who did so on Monday during the inaugural session of the 18th Lok Sabha.

Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took his oath today, holding up a copy of the Constitution.

This new controversy coincides with an ongoing dispute about naming the speaker of the Lok Sabha.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s efforts to reach a consensus on reappointing Om Birla as speaker failed this morning as the INDIA bloc decided to nominate eight-time MP K Suresh for the post.

Traditionally, the Lok Sabha speaker and deputy speaker are elected by consensus between the ruling party and the