Aurangabad: All India Majalis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Imtiaz Jaleel said while the division in the Shiv Sena was “unfortunate”, the positive thing for the Muslim community is that it will no longer be used as a “punching bag” by that party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In the tug-of-war between the two Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde would need Muslim votes, he said.
Jaleel, who is AIMIM’s MP from Aurangabad, made these statements while speaking to a Marathi News channel.
“Shiv Sena was formed for the rights of Marathi people. Split in the party is unfortunate. I am also a Marathi although my party is different. I have nothing to do with Eknath Shinde or Uddhav Thackeray. But the BJP succeeded in splitting the Marathi people, which no one could do,” he said.
“But Muslims will no more be a punching bag here and this is a positive thing for Muslims. Earlier, BJP and Shiv Sena used Muslims as a punching bag…we see their earlier speeches. But after the split, both the factions of Sena will feel the need of Muslims to be with them because of tough competition for gaining power,” he added.
Jaleel added that both the Sena factions are now welcoming people coming to them.
“Along with Hindutva, they will also need Muslim votes. Now no one will abuse Muslims,” Jaleel said.
Over the Thackeray-led party losing its name, he said, “After the Sena lost its name and symbol (bow and arrow) I wrote that it’s painful when the original name changes. Now the name and symbol (of Sena) has gone.”
The AIMIM leader criticised the BJP saying that the kind of politics happening in the state “on the instructions” of the party is extremely dangerous.
“They want control of the financial capital – Mumbai. This is all going on for this supremacy only,” he claimed.