Hyderabad: The Congress on Wednesday held a massive dharna in Hyderabad reiterating its call for boycott of Iftar party to be hosted by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and demanded that the TRS government provide jobs and loans to the minority communities.
Led by Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Dept Chairman Sameer Waliullah, Congress senior leaders, including TPCC spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin and others, held the dharna at Masab Tank on Wednesday after Zohar prayers. “This is apparent for the first time in the history that Muslims are holding a protest during the holy month of Ramzan. This is not politics. This is a fight for justice. We are being denied jobs and loans by the TRS Govt. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was trying to lure the poor Muslims with a pack of Biryani and khajoor once a year. This has been going on for the last eight years and now the community got tired of such cheap tactics,” Sameer Waliullah said while speaking to media persons near Masab Tank where the dharna was held.
Sameer Waliullah said the previous Congress government ensured educational, economical and political empowerment of poor Muslims through 4% reservation and other measures. However, KCR, who came to power on the promise of giving 12% Muslim reservations cheated the community on multiple fronts. He did not do anything for the growth of Muslims but created hype about him being a secular and fair leader. “The annual Iftar party is a major tool used by CM KCR to cheat the Muslims. This event has nothing to do with Iftar, which is an auspicious occasion to break the Roza. CM KCR and his Deputy Home Minister Mahmood Ali are trying to pollute the spirit of Ramzan by using occasions like Iftar to humiliate the entire community. By offering a meal once a year, they are giving the wrong message that Muslims don’t need jobs or loans for self-employment. The Sherwani-Biryani combo will not impress the minorities anymore. We want jobs, loans and the promised unemployment allowance of Rs 3,016,” he added.
Sameer Waliullah said the boycott call got a tremendous response and many religious and social organisations and leaders have supported it. “We had no intention to indulge in any kind of politics during the month of holy Ramzan. But we were forced to give a call for the boycott of the Iftar party after realising that KCR has been using Iftar as a tool to lure the poor Muslims and Ramzan kits as bait to cheat lakhs of poor Muslims across Telangana. Poor Muslims don’t need a Rs 200 worth Ramzan kit. They want jobs and loans to achieve self-reliance. They are not beggars who are being made to stand in long queues to collect a Ramzan kit. They are dignified citizens of this country who deserve an equal share in all opportunities and resources. This can be conveyed in the strongest form only if Muslims boycott the KCR’s Iftar party,” he said.
Speaking to media persons on the occasion, TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin accused the TRS Govt of maligning the image of Muslims of Telangana. “Instead of providing education, jobs, loans, and other opportunities on par with other citizens, the TRS Govt was humiliating the poor Muslims every year by giving them a gift pack of about Rs 200. TRS Govt is simply treating Muslims as beggars and neglecting their needs, he said. Syed Nizamuddin said the TRS Govt demolished mosques in the State Secretariat. Almost all institutions related to the minority welfare are headless for many years and KCR Govt is showing no signs of urgency in attending to them.
The Congress activists were holding a long banner with the hashtag #BoycottKCRIftarParty. The slogans on the other placards read “Mr. KCR, Where is 12% Muslim Reservation? TRS implementing RSS Agenda; KCR is Modi Agent; Poor Muslims Needs Jobs & Loans, Not Alms.”
Some banners also had the slogans, “Mr. KCR, Musalmanon Ko Bheek Nahi, Naukri Do; TRS Govt neglected Muslims in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors; Mr. KCR, Saal Mein Ek Biryani Ka Packet Nahi, Muslims Ko Naukri Do, Loan Do; Rs. 200 ka Ramzan Gift Dekar Muslims Ki Beizzati Mat Karo, KCR Musalmanon Ko Naukri Do and Musalman Bheek Nahi, Apna Haq Maang Rahay Hain.”
Sameer Waliullah said the Congress would continue its protest demanding boycott of KCR’s Iftar party although he did not specify whether Congress activists would stage a protest near the Iftar party’s venue.