AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said that the BJP would not be able to make headway in either of the Telugu states, during the 2019 elections.
Stating that there was dissent against the BJP in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Hyderabad MP also praised the TRS, a party considered to be close to the MIM.
"In Andhra Pradesh, nobody is ready to hold BJP's flag. Nothing is going to happen in Telangana (in favour of BJP). In Telangana, people have seen the governance of TRS in the last four years and our work. They (BJP) are nowhere," Owaisi told reporters in Hyderabad.
The BJP on Saturday had to issue a statement denying that its President Amit Shah had made any comment in a Hyderabad meeting on the contentious Ram temple in Ayodhya after Owaisi questioned him for speaking on the sensitive issue that is being decided by the Supreme Court.
"Yesterday in Telangana, BJP President Amit Shah did not make any statement on the issue of Ram mandir as being claimed in certain sections of the media. No such matter was even on the agenda," the BJP said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Owaisi said it was better if the Ayodhya judgment came after the 2019 general elections as it would influence the election outcome.
In a tweet he questioned Shah's speech in Hyderabad, asking him if he was "going to write the judgment when the Supreme Court is deciding the title dispute and whether Masjid is essential feature of Islam".
"It is better if the...judgment (is) given after parliamentary elections for free and fair (polls)," Owaisi said. Shah on Friday held a meeting of party leaders in Hyderabad after which BJP National Executive member Perala Sekharjee briefed the media about it.
Quoting Shah from the meeting, Sekharjee said that steps would be taken to clear the decks for launching construction of the temple before the polls.
"Considering the developments, I believe that construction of Ram temple will begin before the coming general elections," Sekharjee quoted Shah as saying.
The BJP had also released a statement in Telugu about Shah's meeting indicating he spoke about the Ram temple issue.