Tejasvi Surya called Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls the BJP's gateway to the south.
- Tejasvi Surya called Mr Owaisi an avatar of Mohammad Ali Jinnah
- Mr Owaisi's AIMIM performed well in the recent Bihar election
- Mr Surya called Hyderabad civic body polls BJP's gateway to the south
The BJP's Tejasvi Surya, campaigning for the approaching Hyderabad civic polls, on Monday attacked AIMIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi in a highly controversial and divisive speech in which he called him an avatar of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and said every single vote for him was a vote against India.
Accusing both Asaduddin Owaisi and his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi of "playing divisive and communal politics", Tejasvi Surya, a BJP MP from Bengaluru, also accused the AIMIM leaders of "allowing only Rohingya Muslims, not development", in Hyderabad.
"If you vote for Owaisi here, he becomes strong in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Muslim localities in Karnataka...Who is Owaisi? Owaisi is Jinnah's new avatar. We must defeat him. Every single vote you give BJP is a vote for Bharat, Hindutva, to make country stronger. A vote for Owaisi -- and tell this to every single Indian -- is a vote against India and everything that India stands for," said Mr Surya, recently elevated as the BJP's youth wing president. His comments reflected the BJP's pique over Mr Owaisi's AIMIM performing well in the recent Bihar election.
"He (Asaduddin Owaisi) speaks the language of rabid Islamism, separatism and extremism which Jinnah also spoke. Every Indian should stand against divisive and communal politics of the Owaisi brothers. We will not let this Islamisation happen, this is our resolve."
Continuing on his communally-loaded theme, he said: "I want to tell Akbaruddin and Asaduddin Owaisi, this is not the time of Nizams. This is the time of Hindu Hruday Samrat Narendra Modi. You will be nothing here."
The firebrand BJP MP called the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls, to be held on December 1, the BJP's gateway to the south.
"Change Hyderabad today, change Telangana tomorrow, change South India day after tomorrow. The whole nation is watching Hyderabad," he said.
The civic polls in Hyderabad have become a high profile contest with the BJP raising the stakes after winning a byelection in the Dubbaka assembly seat, a stronghold of Telangana's ruling party TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samiti).
Sensing an opportunity to consolidate its base in Telangana ahead of assembly polls due in three years and Lok Sabha elections in four - with a weakened Congress and a practically non-existent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) -- the BJP has decided to go all out in this civic election.
Tejasvi Surya also mocked Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao for promising to make Hyderabad an Istanbul, saying he had an understanding with the AIMIM as he wanted to make the city a "Hyderabad of Pakistan". He went on to point out that Istanbul was the "capital" of Turkey, "a 100 per cent Muslim country".
Besides Mr Surya, the BJP has drafted several national leaders to campaign in Hyderabad, forcing the state's ruling party to respond.
Mr Rao, aka KCR, released his party's manifesto for the civic polls on Monday and announced concessions in water and power bills. He also urged people to choose between peace and communal disturbances, without referring to the BJP.
"Do you want a peaceful Hyderabad or do you want a Hyderabad where there is curfew, communal disturbances? You have to make that choice,'' the Chief Minister said.
Reacting to Mr Surya's comments, KCR's daughter K Kavitha, a lawmaker, said: "This so-called young leader wants to change Hyderabad, change Telangana and South India. I want to tell him, boss, open your eyes, Hyderabad has already changed. Amazon, Google have come to Hyderabad. Within 6 years, 24 hours quality power has come to Hyderabad, we have created a wonderful network of road and infrastructure to beat any other metro. Hyderabad has arrived and it is Hyderabad's time to rule the roost in this country."
The BJP's aggressive campaign comes at a time KCR has been talking about bringing together non-BJP, non-Congress parties ahead of the 2024 national election.