Addressing a press briefing on Saturday, AIMIM national spokesperson clarified that his ‘15 crore’ remark was not directed towards the Hindu community. Thereafter, he retracted the ‘15 crore’ statement. However, he refused to apologise for the same.
He stated that his statement was intended to convey the message that 15 crore Muslims were unhappy due to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act. Moreover, he claimed that only 100 people belonging to organizations such as RSS and BJP were against the Muslims. Pathan also alleged that the uproar against him was a political conspiracy to defame him and the AIMIM.
Waris Pathan remarked, “In the media, there are reports that I am against the nation and I am against other religions. My statement ‘15 crore will overpower 100 crore’ made in the anti-CAA and NRC rally in Gulbarga, Karnataka on February 15 does not mean that I have made a statement against the Hindus of the country. The purpose of my statement was that in the name of CAA, 15 crore Muslims are unhappy. People belonging to other religions having faith in the Constitution are also upset. Our women as brave as the queen of Jhansi are on a sit-in for more than a month to show their opposition. There are only 100 people who are against 15 crore Muslims. They are from the RSS, BJP and other parties. My reference was to them.”
He added, “I am proud of my country. I am a true Muslim. This is a political conspiracy to defame me and my party. If someone is hurt by my statement, I retract my statement.”
Waris Pathan made the controversial remarks at a rally in Gulbarga, Karnataka in the presence of AIMIM MPs Asaduddin Owaisi and Imtiaz Jaleel on February 15. The former MLA from the Byculla constituency claimed that the government was scared of Muslim women leading the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Moreover, he asked the crowd to remember that 15 crore people (Muslims) had the strength to "overpower" 100 crore people.
“We have to grab Azadi. And, if you don’t get anything by asking, you have to snatch it, remember this. The time has come. We were told that you have pushed your mothers and sisters ahead and you are hiding in blankets. For now, only our lionesses have come out and you are shaking in your boots? Now imagine what will happen when we (men) come out too. Remember, we are 15 crore but can overpower 100 crore. Just remember this,” AIMIM leader Waris Pathan remarked.