Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi came down heavily on the five Muslim leaders who met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat last month.
Owaisi said these leaders were "elite" and were far from ground reality".
Former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, Delhi's former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, former Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lieutenant General Zameer Uddin Shah, former MP Shahid Siddiqui and businessman Saeed Shervani had met with Bhagwat.
Speaking to the media, Owaisi said, "These people went and met him (Bhagwat). The whole world knows the RSS' ideology, and you go and meet him. This elite section of the Muslim community, whatever they do, is the truth. But when we fight politically for our fundamental rights, we are shown in a bad light."
Owaisi further added, "This elite layer, which thinks it is very knowledgeable and has no touch with the ground reality, they are living comfortably, and they go and meet the RSS chief. It is their democratic right, I do not question that, but they too don't have a right to question us," he added.
Bhagwat has been trying to reach out to Muslim leaders. Today, he called on chief cleric of the All-India Imam Organization Umer Ahmed Ilyasi at a mosque in Delhi. The meeting that took place behind "closed door" is reported to have lasted for more than an hour.
Revealing details of the meeting with Bhagwat last month, Quraishi said that Bhagwat was worried about the situation in the country. "I'm not happy with the atmosphere of disharmony. It is completely wrong. The country can move ahead only with cooperation and cohesion," Quraishi said, quoting Bhagwat as saying.
According to the former CEC, Bhagwat shared a couple of points that were of particular concern, especially cow slaughter, which, he said, upsets the Hindus. "So, we said it is banned practically across the country. The Muslims are law-abiding and if anyone violates it, it is a huge mistake and there should be punishment," Quraishi revealed.
Bhagwat, Quraishi added, also said that the use of the word "kafir gave the Hindus a bad feeling".