Hitting out at the Shiv Sena for allegedly seeking a burqa ban, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party should know that the Constitution gives autonomy to individuals. The article in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on the matter was a grave violation of the Model Code of Conduct, claimed the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president.

He asked the Election Commission to take immediate note of it. The article was trying to create divisions and polarisation in society, he alleged.

“May I give them some knowledge, some gyan because they are ignorant… I am to remind them that the Supreme Court judgment on privacy, the supreme court judgment on (Article) 377 clearly lays down that choice. For Shiv Sena’s ignorant people, I am spelling that out for them, choice, is now fundamental right,” Owaisi told reporters in Hyderabad.

He said as per the Indian Constitution one can choose and do whatever they like.

“That is your autonomy. Unfortunately and deliberately, for all these Hindutva ignorant people, when you talk about constitution, they go completely mad about it. Because they don’t understand the pluralism of our country…In our country, ladies wear ghunghat. Would you remove that also? You understand India first. India is a plural country. You cannot impose your Hindutva on all,” he said.

Owaisi said the Shiv Sena was frustrated as “they are going to lose a huge number of seats in the elections”.

“That is why they are indulging in what I called dog-vigil politics,” he said.

In the report, published in Saamana, the Sena had said if burqa was banned in “Ravan’s Lanka, then why not in Ram’s Ayodhya.”

“India is a country which celebrates every religion.

It also celebrates people who don’t believe in religion. It also celebrates Ravan, it also holds Ram in high esteem. This is India.

“They (Shiv Sena) talked so brave and bold that they will not go with Modi, but they did a trapeze act,” said Owaisi, who is seeking re-election from Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha polls.

He claimed that the current atmosphere in the country in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections was completely against the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He maintained it was a violation of model code of conduct when Modi talked about aastha (faith, belief) during an election speech.

Modi should have said that as a Prime Minister he will protect constitutional morality. “…but when Modi talks about aastha, it is nothing but the Hindutva ideology. This is again a violation of model code of conduct, he charged.

When asked about the EC giving a clean chit to Modi on his Wardha speech, Owaisi said he was concerned about what the prime minister talked about terrorism.

“It was a deliberate attempt to polarise,” he alleged adding the poll body should have taken note of it.

Asked about the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur’s reported comments that people can give up burqa in national interest, Owaisi said such “nonsensical statements” were expected from her — who has “had no hesitation in demeaning a martyr of this country (Hemant Karkare).”

What dress were the convicted in Ajmer blast wearing, he asked, referring to the arrested persons’ alleged association with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“So, the fight against terrorism is not with dress.

The fight against terrorism is that you have to fight that mindset,” he said.