HYDERABAD: Hours after BJP president Amit Shah criticised the State government for its ‘appeasement politics’ and voiced BJP’s strategy for contesting elections in the state, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed Shah and challenged him to contest elections from Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat.
Speaking to media persons on Saturday, Owaisi said, “If Shah thinks he has a strategy, then he should contest elections from the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. If you do that, I am ready.” He claimed that BJP won’t be able to retain its five seats and in the upcoming General Elections, they would also lose the Secunderabad seat.
He termed Shah’s claimed strategy as jumlas and said, “Jumlas don’t work here. The youngsters are asking Shah and Modi what their strategy is for creating more jobs; for Kashmir; for improving foreign exchange rate. Where is their strategy regarding these? The party has no answer.”
His comments found a response in BJP MLA from Amberpet, G Kishan Reddy, who threw an open challenge to Owaisi and asked him to contest from Amberpet. “Asaduddin Owaisi asked Amit Shah to contest for Lok Sabha from Hyderabad. I am challenging Owaisi to contest from Amberpet Assembly constituency. We assure to defeat him.”
Owaisi, meanwhile, also lashed out at Shah for criticising the State government’s decision to advance Assembly elections “with no regard to additional expenditures involved” by reminding him that BJP had done the same thing in Gujarat after the riots in 2002. “In 2002, the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi dissolved the Gujarat Assembly well before its tenure. Were there no expenses during 2002?” he asked. Indeed, in 2002, then CM Modi dissolved the Gujarat Assembly, eight months before the term was due to expire. Modi had resigned due to allegations that he had taken insufficient steps to prevent riots in the state.
“This is their selective amnesia. They might forget Gujarat riots, but we do not. What was the reason for conducting early elections then?,” Owaisi said stressing on that fact that there hasn’t been a single case of communal unrest in Telangana. Earlier in the day, Shah had said, “It is only due to petty political gains that he (KCR) has gone for early elections.”