In a veiled threat to the Hindu community, MIM leader Waris Pathan has said that Muslims in India may just number 15 crore, but they can overpower 100 crore people from the majority community.
The former Byculla MLA compared the protesting Muslim womenfolk to lionesses, saying they have rattled the entire country but when the entire community comes together, it will have a bigger impact.
"They tell us that we have kept our women in the forefront. I want to tell these people, only the lionesses have come out and you are already sweating. You can understand what would happen if all of us come together. We are just 15 crore but can be a bigger force than the 100 crore majority population," he said.
"We have to move together. We have to take Azadi (freedom), things that we don't get by asking, we have to take it by force, remember it," the AIMIM leader can be purportedly heard saying in Hindi.
#WATCH AIMIM leader Waris Pathan: ...They tell us that we've kept our women in the front - only the lionesses have come out&you're already sweating. You can understand what would happen if all of us come together. 15 cr hain magar 100 ke upar bhaari hain, ye yaad rakh lena.(15.2) pic.twitter.com/KO8kqHm6Kg— ANI (@ANI) February 20, 2020
The rabble-rouser was speaking at an event in Gulbarga in Karnataka in the presence of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on February 16.
Hitting out at Pathan, the BJP's Karnataka unit said such threats do not work in new India.
"Hiding behind children and women, legends are seeking "Azadi."
"What more Azadi do they want? Aren't they enjoying every kind of Azadi since 1947? Waris Pathan and other leaders of AIMIM should come out of their Aurangzeb's World. These threats don't work in #NewIndia," it tweeted.
Pathan, however, later on Thursday, said that there are 130 crore people in this country and we (referring to the Muslim community) are part of India and alleged that the BJP wants to segregate them.
Responding to a question on his statement, Pathan said, "This is a figment of imagination, they did not find anything controversial so they started showing the video, there are 130 crore people in this country and we are part of it, BJP wants to segregate us."
Pathan said he was the last person who would speak against any religion or the country.
"My statement is being misconstrued and twisted. I am not apologizing. It is BJP which is trying to segregate Indians," he said.
He said that he has equal rights in this country like PM Narendra Modi and reiterated that the BJP had an ulterior motive.
"We are an integral part of this country. Modi and Waris Pathan both have equal rights on this nation," he said.
"Why these BJP leaders are making such comments against protesters," he asked.
He said that AIMIM is always for the betterment of the minorities and we will not speak against the constitution.
"Whatever I have said, said in the limits of Constitution," he said.
(With PTI and ANI Inputs)