HYDERABAD: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi today dismissed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that it was his government, which had made it possible for the Muslim women to perform Haj without being accompanied by a male guardian.
"This regulation (enabling Muslim women above 45 years of age to perform the pilgrimage without a male guardian) was passed by the Saudi Haj authorities many years ago," the Hyderabad MP told reporters here.
"Women over 45 can go for Haj in groups. Women from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Arab countries have been going for Haj. The prime minister wants to take credit on every issue," Owaisi said.
In his "Mann ki Baat" radio address, Modi had yesterday said his government had removed the restriction that a woman Haj pilgrim must be accompanied by a male guardian ("mahram"), following which hundreds of women had applied for travelling alone for the pilgrimage.
According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Muslim women above 45 years of age will now be allowed to go on the pilgrimage, without a "mahram", in a group of at least four.
"It is god's grace that Taj Mahal and Charminar were already built, otherwise he (Modi) would have claimed that he had constructed them," Owaisi said.
If the prime minister was so concerned about Muslim women, he should ensure justice for Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who had lost his life in the 2002 Gujarat riots, he added.
"The main problem concerning the Muslim women is education and livelihood. You (Modi) can give a seven-per cent reservation to the Muslim women in education. You have a two- thirds majority. You can bulldoze (the opposition) and bring a legislation to give a seven-per cent reservation to the Muslim women," Owaisi said.
The AIMIM leader also pointed out that Modi and the BJP had not fielded a single Muslim candidate in the recently-held Gujarat Assembly polls.
On the issue of instant triple talaq, Owaisi said his request to the prime minister was to enact a law, giving "24 lakh women of the country", who were thrown out of their matrimonial homes, the right to live with their husbands.