Mumbai, February 22: Former legislator of the legislator of All Indian Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Waris Pathan on Saturday apologised for "communal" comments made by him at an anti-CAA protest in neighbouring Karnataka. Addressing a large gathering held to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on February 15, Waris Pathan reportedly said that "15 crores (Muslims) will prove stronger than the 100-crore majority". Digvijaya Singh Says Strict Action Should Be Taken Against Waris Pathan for '15 Crore Muslims-100 Crore Hindus' Remark.
"My statement is being twisted to target and defame me and my party due to a political conspiracy. However, I take back my words if they hurt anyone and apologise for the same," Pathan said at a press conference. The howls of protests started after Pathan's February 15 comments in Kalburgi. The AIMIM also sought an explanation from Pathan, who lost his seat in the Maharashtra assembly elections, held last year.
"They say we have kept our women at the forefront. I want to tell these people -- only the lionesses have come out and you are in a cold sweat. You can understand what would happen if all of us come together. We are just 15 crores but can be a bigger force than the 100-crore majority population," Pathan had said. As the issue snowballed into a political controversy, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi asked him not to speak with the media till further orders.
Earlier in a statement, Pathan said that he was "totally quoted out of context" by the media. "I hereby wish to reiterate that I can never say anything intentionally or unintentionally that hurts the sentiments of any caste, community or gender. I am a proud Indian and respect the plurality of this country," said Pathan. "Neither me, nor my party supports anything that creates a divide between people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Jai Hind," he added.