HYDERABAD: When it comes to taking on his political rivals, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi pulls no punches. The Hyderabad MP, in fact, spares none, though he reserves his most scathing and sarcastic remarks for the two national parties, BJP and Congress, as well as the veteran leader from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
In a freewheeling interview with Express, Owaisi alleges that the BJP had financed Congress to fight against the TRS in the last December Assembly elections while jokingly urging the Congress to call AIMIM the A-team of BJP and not B-Team. While calling AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu a “chameleon”, Owaisi speaks about the possibility of K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Federal Front, with the help of others like his ‘good friend’ Jagan, forming the government at the Centre. Excerpts from the interview:
What do you think of the current political scenario? What needs to change?
I feel that we have an undeclared Emergency in India right now. And see the way the government is reacting now. How the Prime Minister, while inaugurating a new TV channel told its proprietor that you have hired people who are against me! What does that tell you? That tells you that the PM does not believe in independent media. Modi wants the media to become a yes man.
You have been propagating a non-Congress and non-BJP government at the Centre. Where do you see KCR’s Federal Front in that context?
It will definitely play a very important role. No one can deny that. Because I am very sure that KCR will win 16 seats in Telangana along with my Hyderabad seat. And then my friend Jagan (Mohan Reddy) would definitely win 20-21 Parliament seats. These two States will play a very important role in government formation. The whole demand of TRS-KCR-Jagan is that federalism in its true sense should be implemented. Why should we require so many subjects to be in concurrent list, when they should be in State list? These are things which will definitely play a very important role post May 23.
Where does AIMIM fit in that?
We definitely oppose and have been opposing BJP. Our earnest desire and hope is that a non-Congress, non-BJP government will be formed after the polls.
But you have been accused of being B-team/C-team of BJP...
I would request these people (Congress) to not demean me by saying that I am B-team. At least make me A-team of BJP. Don’t limit me by saying that I am B-team, I want to be A-team at least. If they want, I can also give them some money which I have taken from whatever they are saying for being an A-team. I can share my spoils with them, but please call me A-team. In fact, during the Assembly elections, it was BJP who had financed Congress to fight against TRS. I won’t say much, but you will come to know more in the coming days.
During the Assembly polls you had said that you would campaign in Uttar Pradesh...
Let us see what happens.
So, will you be campaigning in Amethi for instance?
There is a lot of time left for the last phase. Let us see what happens.
Can you explain your antipathy for the AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu?
Chandrababu Naidu, first of all, does not have any political principles. Though politicians don’t have much — this man has none. I have been an MLA for 10 years, and for nine years I was an MLA when he was the CM. I have seen him from close quarters and he can change overnight. Even a chameleon would be feel shy after observing him! He became the CM by deceiving his father-in-law. Then in 1996, he was the United Front convenor, then he became part of NDA. He had demanded the removal of Modi, but still he supported Modi in 2014. This is how he works. So you can never trust Chandrababu Naidu. I won’t be surprised if during May 20, 21, he again joins BJP.