Former Cong minister defends Owaisi, says arrest will 'drift away minorities'
Hyderabad:Andhra Pradesh Congress faced an embarrassing situation on Tuesday as former state cabinet minister and five-time party MLA Dr. P Shankar Rao foreboded huge electoral losses for the Congress in Andhra Pradesh for arresting MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi.
"Minorities will drift away from the Congress following Owaisi's arrest," former handlooms minister was quoted saying by a local daily.
Owasi was arrested on Tuesday for his derogatory speeches against a particular community in December. Three FIRs have been lodged against Owaisi in the state for his ‘inciting’ and 'communal' appeals.
Ironically, Rao appealed to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to release Owaisi as his arrest would strengthen communal forces in the state.
Not stopping there, the MLA from Secundrabad Cantonment lambasted the Kiran Kumar Reddy government and the state police for not considering Owaisi’s health condition, claiming that he suffered from hernia and kidney ailments, and some bullet injuries too.
Rao deplored that despite Owaisi’s timely return to face investigators, he was unnecessarily rushed by police to Adilabad, where one of the FIRs had been registered against his alleged hate speech. “The police should have given sufficient time to him to appear,” opined Rao.
Akbaruddin Owaisi’s petition challenging his arrest is to be heard by the High Court on Wednesday.
MIM, which used to be an ally of Congress at both state and Centre, withdrew its support in November 2012 from both levels after a disagreement over a temple issue, where MIM accused Congress of 'unfavourable treatment' to a minority community.