Barring agony, fear, nothing done by Owaisi for Hyderabad: BJP’s Madhavi Latha

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: BJP’s rookie contestant, 49-year-old K Madhavi Latha, is unperturbed by sitting Hyderabad MP and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi’s “larger than life image,” and claims all he has given to the constituency is agony, fear and injustice.

A classical dancer and entrepreneur, the 49-year-old Latha is set to take on Owaisi in his stronghold in the May 13 General Elections.

In an interview with PTI, she lambasted the AIMIM chief for the alleged lack of development in the constituency though he has been representing it since 2004.

She is not perturbed by the larger-than-life image of the strident BJP critic in the constituency.

Asked how she takes on her main rival Owaisi as she is a new entrant into politics, she shot back, asking what kind of an image Owaisi has.

“You say larger than life image. It matters what kind of an image. If you have a larger than life, a negative image, it doesn’t require more than a pebble to shatter it. For example, if you have made a cascade with playing cards, what is the energy you need to make it fall,” she asked.

“But for plain agony, backwardness, injustice, fear and insecurity, he has not given anything,” for the Hyderabad Lok Sabha segment, she alleged.

What is important is that she should present the reality in the constituency before the voters though they are aware of it and also how she will stand up for them, “irrespective of the fear factor that he has spread around”, she said.

In elections in the past, when Congress activists tried to go to the old city for campaigning, “he himself stopped them”. Today, the same people (Congress) are friendly with him, she alleged. She will not be scared by any fear tactics, the BJP contestant asserted.

She promises development to the voters, including roads, flyovers, metro rail, cleanliness, organised residential localities, schools, health and sports facilities.

Promoting the trade of pearls, lac bangles which are famous in the constituency, IT companies are also on her agenda.

“How do I stand up to the ‘pasmandas’ (backward Muslims) there? How do I stand up to those Hindus who are living in fear there,” she said.

There is no development that has taken place in the constituency, she claimed.

Showing some pictures of garbage piled up on a roadside, she asked, “Is this Hyderabad?”.

Though the state capital is known as an IT hub, the IT sector has not spread to the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency, she said.

“You term Hyderabad Lok Sabha as Hyderabad and you will not have even one IT company there? Is that the development? Tell me about one sports complex there,” she asked.

Claiming that IT employees in Hyderabad spend Rs 10,000 crore every month, she said out of that even five per cent of people don’t come to Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency to spend though there are historical monuments and old temples.

“You could have made eat street there. You could have made a Connaught Place of Delhi,” she said.

Asked about her plans or ideas for the development of the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency, she said illiteracy has to be eradicated first, claiming that illiteracy is also rampant.

Observing that the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing several welfare programmes, including promotion of millets, Vishwakarma Yojana and Beti Bacaho-Beti Padhao’, she alleged such programmes are not implemented by Owaisi.

Further, Owaisi does not appreciate the uniform civil code as well as “CAA is protecting the Muslims here.” Why does he want to protest for Muslims in other countries, she said, in an apparent reference to the MP’s staunch criticism of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Owaisi cannot justify his opposition to the CAA as he is talking about it in view of his vote bank. “His own people are reluctant to vote for him”, she claimed.

Madhavi Latha said she wants to develop Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency by promoting education, health, cleanliness, connectivity by roads, sports facilities, skill development for uneducated women.

She would also like to help as per Article 30 the minority educational institutions to get support from state and Centre to promote educational facilities, she said.

Madhavi Latha claimed there are about six lakh bogus votes in Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency and that she has made a representation to the Election Commission on the matter.

Disagreeing with the view that Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency is predominantly Muslim, she said there are “predominant Muslim pockets”.

Madhavi Latha, who had worked with Muslim women groups, Madrassas and orphanages, said she will reach out to the Muslim voters as well.

“I am not a communal person. I am an Indian. I am a Bharatiya. All Indians are my brothers and sisters. I believe in this,” she said.

She also said she would like to see issues like alleged child marriages and child labour addressed.

The Hyderabad constituency, comprising mainly the old city of Hyderabad with a predominantly Muslim population, has been an AIMIM bastion.

Asaduddin Owaisi has so far won the constituency for four terms since 2004. Prior to him, his father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi had represented Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha for six consecutive terms between 1984 and 2004.

Salahuddin Owaisi and Asaduddin had represented the old city in the Legislative Assembly as well.


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