Reacting sharply to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's remark that AIMIM shared BJP's ideology of hatred, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday his party would continue to fight both soft and hard Hindutva.
The Hyderabad MP also reminded Gandhi that AIMIM was part of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) till 2012.
"@RahulGandhi be assured that we will continue to contest elections and defeat soft and hard Hindutva in Telangana inshallah. Pls refresh your memory about who was with UPA till 2012. We need an assertive & independent minority SC/ST leadership which @INCIndia's chamchas can't provide," (sic), tweeted Owaisi.
The president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) tweeted hours after Rahul Gandhi addressed a meeting at the historic Charminar in the old city of Hyderabad, considered a bastion of AIMIM.
In his first direct and bitter attack, Gandhi said AIMIM was supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi because they have the same ideology of hatred and divisiveness.
Before Gandhi's visit to Charminar, Owaisi dared him and BJP president Amit Shah to contest against him in Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency.
"Amit Shah had come to my constituency 10 days ago and said we will ensure Owaisi and Majlis 'mukt' Hyderabad. I want both Rahul Gandhi and Amit Shah to contest from Hyderabad. People of Hyderabad will give befitting reply to a Janedaru Hindu and a Hindu nationalist," he said.
Owaisi, whose party is an ally of Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), said there was not a single communal riot in Hyderabad during last four-and-a-half year whereas there were several riots during Congress rule after 2009.
TRS chief and Telangana caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao dissolved the state Assembly on September 6, thereby opting to go for early elections. The decision made by his cabinet also got the approval of the Governor.
Following this, the election commission has since announced the dates of the polls. While the last date of filing nominations is November 19, the scrutiny of the nominations will take place the next day.
The election will be held on December 7 when voting will take place and the counting and results are expected to occur on December 11.