Hyderabad: After his speech against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Gulbarga on 20 February went viral on social media, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Waris Pathan has released a statement saying his speech was taken out of context.

In the speech, the AIMIM leader and spokesperson had said that 15 crore people would outweigh the 100 crores, which had sparked a controversy. Reacting to his speech, BJP chief spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao took to Twitter and said, “AIMIM [email protected] had the gall to threaten 150 crore Hindus – he will be certainly answered. His rabid hate speech and threat was unprovoked and unwarranted. Shows how poisonous & hateful communal party @aimim_national is.”

Following this, the MLA from Byculla said, “My statement made at the public meeting in Gulbarga five days ago was quoted out of context by media reports. I hereby wish to reiterate that I can never say anything intentionally or unintentionally that hurts the sentiments of any caste, community, or gender.”

Waris Pathan further said, “I am a proud Indian and respect the plurality of this country. But yes, I am angry just like many other Indians who believe in the Constitution of this country by the government’s sheer neglect to address the issues concerning CAA/NRC and NPA against which people have been protesting across the country in a democratic way. Neither I nor my party supports anything that creates a divide between people on the basis of caste, creed, and religion.”

On 20 February, the AIMIM leader, while addressing a rally in Gulbarga in the presence of Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, had said, “We will have to get freedom and if we are not given this freedom easily, we will have to grab it. They are saying that we have sent our mothers and sisters to protest while we are hiding under blankets. But so far, only lionesses have come out and you are already sweating. Just imagine what will happen if we come together. Fifteen crores will overweigh 100 crores, keep this in mind.”

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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