BENGALURU: Housing, Waqf and Minority Affairs Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan has stoked a controversy after he said even BJP members of the state Assembly have to offer respect to Speaker U T Khader, who is a Muslim. Zameer Ahmed made the remarks during an election rally in poll-bound Telangana.
During his speech, the minister said, “Tickets were given to 17 Muslims of whom nine are MLAs and five have been given positions of power. I was made minister with three portfolios. Rahim Khan was made minister, Salim Ahmed was made Chief Whip, Nasir Ahmed is political secretary to the CM. In the history of the state, no Muslim was made Speaker of the Assemby and for the first time, the Congress did it. Now, even big leaders of the BJP have to say ‘namaskara’ to U T Khader. Who made this possible? It is the Congress”, he said.
Absolutely Infuriating to learn @INCKarnataka minister Zameer Ahmed Khan's statement disrespecting the esteemed Speaker's chair.
Regardless of party, all MLAs, including those from the BJP, uphold the Speaker's position as the constitutional and ceremonial leader of the House.…
— Vijayendra Yediyurappa (@BYVijayendra) November 17, 2023
Reacting to this, BJP state president B Y Vijayendra wrote on X, “Absolutely Infuriating to learn @INCKarnataka minister Zameer Ahmed Khan’s statement disrespecting the esteemed Speaker’s chair. Regardless of party, all MLAs, including those from the BJP, uphold the Speaker’s position as the constitutional and ceremonial leader of the House. Zameer Ahmed’s inappropriate remarks, attempting to associate religious undertones with the Speaker’s constitutional role, are profoundly undemocratic and reveal a lack of faith in the constitution. We firmly denounce this behavior and call for an unconditional apology”.
Zameer Ahmed will be in Telangana till November 28. Meanwhile, a complaint against him has been lodged against him with the Election Commission by the opposition.