All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi today alleged that the Congress and BJP were indulging in "sectarian" politics in poll-bound Gujarat by "ignoring" the interests of Muslims.
"All are going to temples. All are writing that I am Hindu, I am Brahmin. But if there is anybody who is most backward, after adivasis, it is Muslim.
"(It is) 182 assembly in Gujarat. Do you know how many Muslim MLAs are there? Two. Who is responsible for this? Me? Did I cut votes there?
"Congress gave tickets to seven Muslims in the last elections. Now they have given it to only six. Patels are 13 per cent in Gujarat. BJP gave tickets to 49 Patels and Congress to 45. We are 11 per cent in Gujarat. The difference is only two per cent. If this is not sectarianism, what is? We are fighting against this sectarianism," Owaisi said.
Patels are given reservation in Gujarat, but Muslims are not, he claimed, asking people to pray for BJP's defeat in Gujarat.
The home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to polls on December 9 and December 14.
Talking about the results of civic body polls in Uttar Pradesh, Owaisi said his party was successful on 32 seats, whereas the Congress could only win 19.
"Uttar Pradesh's civic election result has come out. The AIMIM has won 32 seats. How many did 100-year-old Congress win? Only 19," he said.
Taking exception to criticism against him of cutting into the votes (of non-BJP parties), Owaisi said the Congress was not successful even in Amethi, a party stronghold and Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency.
"(We) won 32 and you 19. Whose votes were cut now?" he asked.
"You do not have the strength to take on Modi. You do not have the political thought to take on Modi. You do not have stamina, you do not have strategy," he said in a reference to the Congress.
The BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls yesterday pocketing 14 of the 16 mayoral seats. The Congress faced the embarrassment of losing in its bastion Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of its vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is expected to be soon elevated as party chief.
Claiming that there were 20 lakh abandoned Hindu women, Owaisi wanted to know whether the central government would come to their rescue.
Referring to former US president Barack Obama's remarks that minorities in India must be "nourished", the AIMIM leader said his party had been saying the same thing for decades.
On the reported comments of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that Taj Mahal did not represent India's culture, Owaisi said that he wanted to ask the BJP why did Modi attend the dinner along with US President Donald Trump's adviser Ivanka Trump and others at Hyderabad's Falaknuma Palace during their recent visit to the city.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)