Asaduddin Owaisi

Asaduddin Owaisi, the only member of parliament of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chanted ‘Jai Palestine’ while taking oath as the newly elected MP in the 2024 general elections. He ended his oath saying “Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Jai Telangana, Jai Palestine, Taqbeer, Allahu Akbar”.

That triggered an uproar from the treasury benches that led to the Chair ordering that the remarks be expunged. 

Owaisi, however, justified his slogans after he came out of the House and told reporters there was nothing wrong in him saying “Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Jai Telangana, Jai Palestine”.

Owaisi who refuses to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai but chose to bring in Palestine in his oath taking written speech delivered in the first official session of the 18th Lok Sabha in the new parliament house.

Up in arms, his critics may claim victory after his remarks were expunged from the official recording, but they must know, even if unsavory for many, Owaisi’s remark does not offend any rule or law of India.

The direct relevant article of the constitution is Article 102 (1)(d) which outlines what would earn Owaisi a disqualification. Article 102(1) reads as below:

(1)A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament—

(a) if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder;

(b) if he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;

(c) if he is an undischarged insolvent;

(d) if he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State;

(e) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.


For the purposes of this clause a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or for such State.

(2)A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.

Not practicing law, Owaisi is a qualified lawyer and knows fully well that to invoke Article 102(1)(d), Palestine needs to be a recognized state (country), which it is not. Thus, he is safe.

When asked about his remarks in the parliament by reporters outside parliament, Owaisi said, “Other members are also saying different things… How is it wrong? Tell me the provision of the Constitution? You should also listen to what others said. I said what I had to. Read what Mahatma Gandhi had said about Palestine.”

His defense, as always is bereft of any logic. How is Mahatma Gandhi relevant here?

Mahatma Gandhi was not even a member of the constituent assembly and he never said anything of this sort while taking oath of office of the member of parliament.

Conventionally, only the script of your oath should be read when you take an oath of office.

Pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab reminded the house of this convention:

“I have said earlier please avoid invoking anything other than oath or affirmation. That is only to be recorded… That should be adhered to.”

But, as always, Owaisi stole the show away from the government and Opposition’s newly elected leader Rahul Gandhi. The only news being covered on the airwaves was Owaisi’s.

The battle of wits was being played out on social media.

On platform X (Twitter), BJP leader Amit Malviya fell for the Owaisi trap and claimed that Owaisi can be disqualified for this.“As per extant rules, Asaduddin Owaisi can be disqualified from his Lok Sabha membership, for demonstrating adherence to a foreign State, that is Palestine.” 

Imtiaz Jaleel, a Twitter user (@imtiaz_jaleel) welcomed Owaisi’s invocation:

So happy to see the one man army in the Parliament. He is in action from day 1. Raising issues for the voiceless. Congratulations @asadowaisi saheb for your 5th term. Having said that, I am definitely gutted to miss out on this Parliament term. I learned a lot in my first tenure as a MP alongside Asad Saheb. I raised issues for the development of my city, injustice against minorities and the overall development of our country. Taking this opportunity to thank the citizens of Aurangabad who believed in me for an entire decade. We will come back stronger inshallah.

Another user, Ishwar Nath Jha (@ishwarnjha) on the other hand found Owaisi’s remarks as offensive.

This is extremely offensive. The whole community love brotherhood more than the Constitution of India. People like Owaisi feels guilty for saying Jai Bharat but will say Jai Palestine. Shameless …

Another user, Dilip Mandal (@Profdilipmandal) was irate and apologetic saying:  

Barrister Owaisi, @asadowaisi

I apologize to you. I apologize. The Lok Sabha Chairman/Pro tem Speaker, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, all Cabinet Ministers, MPs from various parties and the officers of the Lok Sabha Secretariat have no problem with you saying “Jai Palestine” while taking the oath of the Indian Constitution, hence I also withdraw my objection. Those who should be the first ones to have a problem, those who are in the position of protectors of the constitution, are silent, so I am just an ordinary citizen. You spoke being an expert on the Constitution, if everyone else remained silent then whom should I complain to? The only question is that if tomorrow Jai Palestine becomes Jai China or Jai Pakistan, then you people should handle it. You people are in the biggest panchayat of the country. This is your first responsibility. Because once it becomes a tradition to chant slogans in praise of another country in Parliament, the matter will not stop here. It should also be decided that if ever the question of choosing between religion and nation arises then whom will people choose. I have no doubts. For me the Indian nation comes first. The nation comes first. No doubts, no questions. Baba Saheb has written a complete chapter in his thesis “Thoughts on Pakistan” about this problem that will arise in India. Which is bigger – nation or religion? The problem is that people complete their work by putting up Baba Saheb’s photo and chanting Jai Bhim. Baba Saheb’s original writings related to the nation should be in the school syllabus. Every child should read them. But governments never listen to me.

While the parliament has funny characters, the entertainment will continue.

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