Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's "fight" in the Assembly elections next year is with widows and orphans, said AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday attacking the state government over the deaths during the second coronavirus wave.
Mr Owaisi said during the second wave of Covid, lakhs of people died "due to the UP government" as bodies of the poor were seen floating in the Ganga and dogs found dragging these on the river banks.
"People were not getting oxygen and beds in hospitals," he said addressing party workers while inaugurating its office in Bahraich city.
"Yogi's fight in the coming elections will be with the women made widows and children left orphan by his government," he said, adding that mothers and sisters of UP have expectations from Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, a coalition of smaller parties.
The Hyderabad MP also called upon opposition parties to join the Morcha, saying, "We are entering the electoral fray with the resolve not to allow Yogi to become the chief minister again in the 2022 elections."
"Those (opposition parties) who are afraid of us today should not forget that we did not contest the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, yet they could not defeat Narendra Modi," he said.
Mr Owaisi further said they are going to contest the Assembly elections with a bigger motive.
"We are fighting for our share in power and not to become mere vote bank. Now, we will send our representatives to the Legislative Assembly with our votes. We have also proved this by winning five Vidhan Sabha seats in Bihar," he said in an apparent reference to the Muslim community.
Mr Owaisi said all political groups understand that there is no voice of the oppressed and minorities.
"The drama of those who make us happy by feeding dates during iftars, organise mushairas and qawwali will now come to an end. We are not circus clowns. Instead of becoming a clown who dances at the behest of the ring master, we will now become the ringmaster and make them dance to our directions," he said.
Mr Owaisi said the Uttar Pradesh government has so far administered coronavirus vaccine to only three per cent of the state population and called upon the people who attended the programme to get themselves vaccinated .
The AIMIM had recently announced that it would contest on 100 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in alliance with Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, a front of smaller parties.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)